Pat Aquino, Gilas Women intensify recruitment for national team program
MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas Women’s program director and coach Pat Aquino is shifting their recruitment efforts into higher gear.
Besides using players from its grassroots program, Aquino’s women’s basketball program will have help from Filipino-foreign recruits
“We’re looking for players already [overseas] this early, because the hardship here is the passports, so it’s a good thing that we got a head start,” Aquino said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum on Tuesday.
“[The efforts are for] the whole program, not just 3×3. There’s even one player from France playing professionally, and she has already committed. This recruitment program I’m doing is not just for 5 on 5 too, but the whole program itself.”
Aquino, who fully focused on the national team program in May of this year and stepped down as National University’s women’s basketball coach, is headed to the United States next year to look for naturalized and Filipino prospects.
During the Ateneo-UP game at Araneta Coliseum last November 26, Aquino also bared his plans for the women’s team.
Other than the scouting of national players, the national team is also looking to bring in talents from the UAAP.
“Some of them, I already put in the pool like Kacey (Dela Rosa). I’m going to invite her and Tacky Tacatac and Eka Soriano from UST. La Salle’s Lee Sario also, those players were recruited by me before but they eventually went to other schools,” said Aquino.
“Especially Kacey, before I resigned, we were talking to her, so hopefully we get her. Everything for the country after all,” he emphasized.
Dela Rosa was second in the MVP race for the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament with 77.0 statistical points.
Soriano, who Aquino also added to his recruitment pool, is set to be the unanimous league MVP with 92.286 SP.