The search is on for Gilas Pilipinas’ next great point guard.
It wasn’t that long ago when Jimmy Alapag handed over reins to Jayson Castro — who would blitz his way through much bigger opponents and eventually be dubbed as “The Best Point Guard in Asia”. But it seems like we’ve seen the last of “The Blur”, as the 32-year-old has reportedly retired from international competitions to deal with some family matters.
In a surprising turn of events, one of Castro’s possible successors — the promising Scottie Thompson — also begged off from the team claiming he wants to further hone his craft before representing the flag anew.
Then there’s the mercurial Terrence Romeo, who’s still dealing with some injuries at the moment. Although willing for another call-up, Romeo’s play style might not be suited in Yeng Guiao’s system, according to a report from Dodo Catacutan of SPIN.PH.
A team once filled with immense talent at the point, the national team is now in search of someone to fill in the big shoes left behind by Castro. Aside from the upcoming World Cup, the team is also looking for its next resident playmaker for years to come.
FOX Sports Philippines narrows down the possible options from the current pool of players.
Kiefer Ravena has been nothing but patient for the past 16 months.
After a lengthy suspension handed down by FIBA deprived the 25-year-old guard precious time in the hardwood, Ravena has only redemption on his mind, as he appears to be the next in line to command the Filipinos’ offense in Foshan, China.
Having represented the country in international tournaments numerous times even before turning pro, Ravena’s age, diverse skillset, and wealth of experience certainly makes him the worthy successor for the Philippine team moving forward. Ravena has reportedly kept himself in excellent shape throughout his suspension, but it will be interesting to see if rust will play a factor upon his return.
Bolick’s former NorthPort Batang Pier mate Stanley Pringle’s eligibly issues continues to prevent him from suiting up for Gilas. Enter the former San Beda “King Lion” , who has lived up to the hype —and perhaps even more— in his rookie season in the PBA.
Steering the ship for NorthPort since the Pringle trade, Bollick might very well be one of Castro’s replacements in the World Cup. With outside shooting a premium in the international game, Bolick’s marksmanship from deep will be a vital asset for Gilas. After draining only 25 percent of his attempts from downtown in the Philippine Cup, the 23-year-old combo guard bumped up those numbers to 35 percent in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.
Speaking of impressive neophytes, the top pick of last year’s PBA Draft CJ Perez has also emerged as another potential building block for the national team moving forward.
Also adept in playing either wing position, Perez possesses size, athleticism, ball handling, and high basketball IQ that will be best utilized in coach Guiao’s free-flowing offensive sets.
The “Baby Beast” is at his best when attacking the paint and making plays for both himself and his teammates — a role that Castro used to perform to perfection for Gilas.
The eligibility of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson remains as top priority for Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), but Remy Martin appears to be a close second on every Filipinos’ wish list.
The 20-year-old starting point guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils has publicly expressed his desire to don the national team’s tri-colors in the world stage.
Martin will no doubt bring immediate star power to Gilas’ backcourt. The 6’0 dynamic guard boasts unlimited range and has proven to be a strong finisher in traffic.