Heading admits Gilas missed Ramos’ presence in Fiba OQT campaign
MANILA, Philippines—While the Philippines’ campaign in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament brought about some positive revelations, it also highlighted some missed opportunities.
Jordan Heading, who was a bright spot for Gilas Pilipinas in Belgrade, said the team needed the leadership of Dwight Ramos in the two games against Serbia and the Dominican Republic.
“I think our guys relatively stepped up alright without Dwight. He’s the guy that really steadies our ship, he’s definitely a leader on our team so we missed him,” said Heading after the Philippines’ 94-67 loss to the Dominican Republic Friday.
Ramos was the Philippines’ best player in the Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers, averaging 13.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.0 steals for the Philippines across six games.
The 6-foot-4 point guard, however, did not play in Belgrade due to a groin injury.
Without their ace, the Filipinos needed to step up against two teams who were ahead of them in the Fiba rankings. Serbia is at no.5 and the Dominican Republic is no.19 while the Philippines is no.31.
Heading did come into his own for the Philippines averaging 14.5 points on an efficient 73 percent from deep with 1.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds.
“But I think we stepped up okay. I’m not gonna say that we stepped up great obviously because we’re pretty disappointed with tonight,” said Heading.
“But we still tried to fight you know and that’s one thing about Filipinos is they’re not going to be scared going up against anybody and we’ll play ball against anyone.”
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