MANILA, Philippines – The pioneering Gilas Pilipinas site manager congratulated and cautioned Gilas Pilipinas on Friday evening.
Rajko Toroman, who ran the national goal scoring program from 2009-2011, took his hat off to the young National Five from the Philippines, saying the current edition is now tied with teams competing in the Philippine Basketball Association.
“It’s good … [A]All of these players are talented, ”he said shortly after Indonesia lost to the Philippines, 76-51.
“For me, I can say that they are at the level of the PBA teams in the quality of the talent and the size of the players. You have Kouame, you have Kai Sotto — plus size.
The Serbian mentor also complimented Dwight Ramos, Gilas’ main weapon in the tournament so far.
“He [looks] like a European player, of good height, very strong, athletic, he knows how to shoot the ball. Really a big prospect for Gilas, ”he said of the big guard currently listed at Ateneo.
Toroman has said he is not hoping too much, however, especially for the Olympic qualifying tournament which will take place on his native soil.
“Do not expect a miracle from them in Serbia because they are not experienced [enough] when they play against big teams in Serbia and the Dominican Republic, ”he said.
Gilas is just far too inexperienced against the two teams that they are due to play from June 30. There, Gilas must at least score a victory to have a chance to advance to the next round. Each nation that tops the four qualifiers will qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in July.
Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the campaign is an opportunity for Gilas to grow.
“It will be great. Because now, at crown hour, you don’t have [enough] international games, ”he said. “It’s an opportunity to gain experience, some exposure and I think it will be good.”
“Whatever the outcome, this team from the Philippines, Gilas has a future,” he concluded.
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