Perlas seeks to bolster lineup with naturalized player | Inquirer Sports

Perlas seeks to bolster lineup with naturalized player

/ 01:33 PM May 04, 2017

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Perlas Pilipinas coach Patrick Aquino is upbeat with the team’s chances in the next international tournaments especially with the impending arrival of prospective naturalized player Kelly Hardeman.

“Boss Dioceldo Sy has been talking with a lot of people in the government just to make the naturalization process fast,” Aquino said.


He shared that Hardeman is set to arrive to the country in mid-May, where the Perlas management hopes to finalize the negotiations and get her ready for the 2017 Fiba Asia Women’s Cup and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.


“Boss Dio already had talks with her and her family and she’s excited to represent the Philippines. Hopefully, the process of naturalization will be okay and fast,” the mentor said.

The 23-year-old American forward is no stranger to Philippine basketball as she spent 18 years in the country and even played high school basketball with Faith Academy in Cainta, Rizal.

Aquino said that he previously tried to recruit Hardeman to National University before she opted to go to Azusa Pacific University in the United States.

The 6-foot forward immediately emerged as a solid contributor for the Cougars in her stay where she was named as the Pacific West Freshman of the Year in the 2012-13 season.

She averaged 19.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in her senior year in Azusa Pacific.

Hardeman just finished her first season in BK Amager in the Danish League, where as a starter, she netted 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds.


Though he has yet to see Hardeman in action since he left for the United States, Aquino is hopeful that she will be good as advertised, noting that acquiring a player of Hardeman’s caliber is a definite boost for the national women’s team.

“Maybe time has changed. I haven’t seen her in the past four years and they say she’s blossomed to a good forward. I think she can help us,” he said.

Aquino continued: “As much as I needed a big (guy), she’s a forward who can really run and shoot from the outside. I think with the system we’re pushing through, which is a fast-paced style, a shooting forward like her that can bring down the ball and can also matchup with the smaller guys in transition and in the halfcourt fits right into our team.”

The coach is hopeful that the naturalization process will be approved in time for the upcoming international tournaments.

The Philippines will play in the Level I of the 2017 Fiba Asia Women’s Cup slated in July in India.

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Perlas is also seeking to improve its standing at the 2017 Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August after placing fourth in 2015. IDL

TAGS: Basketball, patrick aquino, Perlas Pilipinas

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