Schonny Winston happy to be eligible to play for Gilas Pilipinas as local
MANILA, Philippines — Schonny Winston hopes to don the Gilas Pilipinas someday after he became eligible to play as a local for the national team.
The Filipino-American guard from La Salle confirmed the reports that he was given the clearance by Fiba to play as a local for the Philippines.
“I have been approved by Fiba to play as a local and I’m just happy because I get the opportunity,” bared Winston after sitting out La Salle’s 57-53 loss to the surging Far Eastern University due to a strained calf on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Hopefully, one day to represent the Philippines and go out there and play hard,” he added.
The 24-year-old Green Archer, who is playing his final season, leads the MVP race in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament after garnering 84.429 statistical points (SPs) through seven games.
But Winston, who averaged a league-best 21.29 points to go with 6.14 rebounds, 3.57 assists, and 3.0 steals, was not part of the Gilas pool for the fifth window.
The only UAAP players in the 20-man pool are University of the Philippines star Carl Tamayo, naturalized center Ange Kouame of Ateneo, and La Salle rookie Kevin Quiambao as the league will take a break from November 6 to 16 to give way for the Philippines’ back-to-back road games in the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.
Gilas will face Jordan on November 10 before taking on Saudi Arabia on November 13.
Although he is still not part of the pool, Winston is just grateful he has the chance to represent the country someday.
“Hopefully, one day, I’ll just put on the jersey — it’ll mean a lot to me so, I’m very very happy about being cleared. Just thankful,” Winston said.