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Chot Reyes: Future is bright for Gilas Pilipinas

Whatever happens after the Philippines' uneventful campaign in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes believes the national team has a very good, young core that they could lean on for the coming years.

Reyes cited Dwight Ramos, highl-flying wingman Jamie Malonzo and Rhenz Abando, and the young “Twin Towers” Kai Sotto and AJ Edu as the future of Gilas, which on Saturday, will close its FIBA World Cup classification round match against long-time Asian rival China.

Dwight Ramos, AJ Edu and Kai Sotto FIBA PHOTOS

“Kai (Sotto), AJ (Edu), Dwight (Ramos), even Rhenz (Abando), Jamie (Malonzo). These guys are in their early 20s, in their mid-20s. So I think, there's a nucleus of guys here that has a bright future ahead,” said Reyes, who as in the recent past, has come under fire once more from passionate Filipino cage fans following Gilas' 0-4 record in the World Cup.

Utah Jazz superstar Jordan Clarkson is undoubtedly the leader of Gilas with his team-best 24 points per contest average in the world basketball showpiece.

Ramos is the team's second-leading scorer with close to 14 points per game, along with 5.8 rebounds, while the 6-foot-11 Edu has been the biggest revelation right in his first World Cup stint with 9.0 points and 8.3 boards.

“The future with these guys, the core that we have right now, that's a very young core,” Reyes pointed out.

Abando has also shown flashes of his potential in the minutes given to him.

Against Italy, Abando scored eight points and had a highlight block against 6-foot-8 big man Gianpaolo Ricci.

Malonzo, the 6-foot-7 Ginebra forward, has also shown his versatility as an energetic defender and fastbreak anchor.

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