Gilas Cadets: The Barometer of Philippine Basketball

Fiba Asia Challenge Cup will be held on September 9-18 and will be hosted by Iran.

Every Asian country gathered their national team to prepare for the Tournament. While Most countries stuck with their same Lineup, the Philippines opted to go different.

The Philippines won’t be fielding the same Lineup we had during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament due to the conflict of schedule on the ongoing PBA Governor’s Cup, Instead they formed a team which is merely composed of Cadets or players who haven’t played in the PBA.

But first here is your Gilas 5.0 lineup:

Head Coach: Josh Reyes

  1. Kevin Ferrer
  2. Ed Daquioag
  3. Alfonso Gotladera
  4. Almond Vosotros
  5. Jonathan Grey
  6. Von Pessumal
  7. Chris Javier
  8. Mike Tolomia
  9. Mac Belo
  10. Russel Escoto
  11. Roger Pogoy
  12. Carl Cruz
  13. Cjay Perez
  14. Arnold Van Opstal

Most of the names are quite familiar especially if you are watching college basketball here in the Philippines. Those are big names in their own respective schools but even though, a lot of fans still questions this move by the Gilas management.

Many are saying that this won’t reach high in the tournament because some countries are still sticking with their same lineup consisting of Professional players.

I won’t say I like the move of the Gilas Management, but it’s the most practical way because of our pros playing in the PBA and their mother teams won’t even allow them to play for Gilas.

Luckily this FIBA Challenge cup won’t be as critical as the FIBA Asia Championships like the one we had on China in 2015. Also this tournament would serve as a barometer not just for the capability of Gilas 5.0 but also for the future of Philippine Basketball.Why?

These players are Young and haven’t even stepped in the PBA yet, so it’s already a disadvantage for us compared to other countries who had professional players. Now, if they were able to put a good fight against the top tier Asian countries like: Korea, China and Iran, then it’s safe to say that the future of Philippine basketball is big with the players right now.

Also it shows that these colleges and universities are really good in producing and training the players, which also a good sign for Philippine basketball because it means that they are continuing creating some quality players that could one day be a key for the success of our National Team.

So despite of all of this criticism, let’s just hope and support that this Gilas 5.0 would give a good fight against other Asian countries, not only for our National Pride but also it would just show that our Basketball program is really developing and producing High quality basketball players.

Imagine, Gilas Cadets consisting of Non-Pro Players putting up a great fight with these professional players of other country? It’s a good thing to see right?




Coach Leo Isaac: The Maker or Breaker for Blackwater?

The Blackwater elite is on the bottom of the standings again with the Star hotshots and also on the verge of elimination again if they won’t pull a miracle right now in the PBA Governor’s Cup.

Photo Credit to

Most of the people would say “hey that’s normal, they are a expansion team so that’s what expected of them”. Yeah, I know it’s normal for blackwater to have this kind of standing since they have a lot of young players and they’re a expansion team.

But after seeing the Mahindra Enforcers (Formerly Kia) slowly climbing up the standings, I’m starting to forget that “They are only an expansion team” mindset. In the past few conferences there are times that Mahindra is being a ‘giant killer’, beating some of the big teams. Right now, under Coach Chris Gavina, They are now on the 3rd of the standing compared to Blackwater’s ¬†12 (which is the last).

Right now I can’t help but wonder, is Coach Leo Isaac the right coach for this young team? I am not questioning the skills of Coach Leo, well he brought the franchise to a D-league championship which makes it a reason for them to go up in the big league.

Photo Credit to

But the PBA is very different compared to the D-league, I really can’t point out what excatly is wrong, but his style on coaching is not effective. You see Paper wise, Blackwater is better than Mahindra and yet Mahindra is slowly improving and they are always in the bottom of the standings.

All I can say is that,¬†Blackwater has two choices, it’s either replace Coach Leo Isaac with coaches who really had an experience coaching in the PBA or find players that will really be effective in Coach Leo’s system.

Maybe I am wrong, Maybe it’s just because they are having a lot of injured players right now and his players and the coaching staffs are adjusting. But I really do hope that coach Leo (if Blackwater will still give him a chance the next season) would prove me wrong and transform Blackwater into a contender team, like what Mahindra is right now.