October 04, 2023

Impressive Mason Amos gets honest on what he was feeling when he entered game vs Lebanon

Impressive Mason Amos gets honest on what he was feeling when he entered game vs Lebanon

On February 24, the Philippines got to know Mason Amos.

Over a year after the country kicked off its campaign in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian Qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas showed the rest of Asia they have another noteworthy shooter in the team.

And he's just 18 years old.

In a span of five minutes during the third quarter, the 6-foot-7 player immediately made 11 points against Lebanon.

Amos shared what it was like for him to play his first senior men's national team game inside the world's largest indoor arena that is the Philippine Arena.

"I came in the game really nervous," Amos admitted to reporters after the game. "But I got used to it eventually."

"Feels great. It's different from the youth level," Amos shared.

He said it was just about fulfilling what was required of him, to just be a spark of energy coming off the bench. And a spark it was, finishing the game with 13 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting.

Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Tim Cone wasn't kidding when he described Amos as a "lights out shooter," something head coach Chot Reyes emphasized after the game.

"He still has a lot to learn, but he still has a lot to develop especially on defense. But you can see his shooting prowess," Reyes told the media.

"That's the weapon we feel we can continually exploit [and] we can use moving forward," he added.

Amos, who will soon be playing for the senior squad of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, was quite the "magic bunot" for Gilas Pilipinas. He got the call as the national team suffered a dearth of big men and sharp shooters with the absence of Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo, along with the injuries to RR Pogoy and Japeth Aguilar.

The 18-year-old also particularly impressed Reyes with his constant presence in Gilas practices.

And Amos' call didn't come from nowhere.

In the 2022 FIBA U18 Asian Championship, he was the top performer for the Gilas Pilipinas Youth with averages of 21.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists.

His shooting is impressive, making 11 of 15 baskets against Syria and 12 of 20 against Chinese Taipei. That's 73.3% accuracy against Syria and 60% in three more games in the competition.

Reyes agrees with a reporter that it could be a blessing in disguise to have the shooter. But whether or not Amos would be a lock for the roster against Jordan remains to be seen.

The coach says they would have to look at the Falcons first, who have already qualified for the World Cup with an all-out roster.

Gilas Pilipinas will welcome Jordan in the Philippine Arena on February 27, Monday. The game will be aired live at 6 p.m. on One Sports and One Sports+.