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Coach Pat Aquino says expanding Gilas women’s pool a ‘good problem’ to have

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With a lot of talent emerging in the field of women’s basketball, Gilas Pilipinas Women’s team head coach Pat Aquino himself is happy that he is encountering a ‘good problem.’

“It’s a good problem for me na nag-e-expand ‘yung pool ano? It’s not just getting players from abroad now, we have players right now,” Aquino told reporters on Saturday.

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“It’s good when I go around the provinces, marami akong nakikitang mga players na lumalabas enthusiastic about playing basketball,” the women’s national team head coach added.

But for Aquino, the growth of women’s basketball in the country is a fruit of all their labors, along with players such as Jack Animam.

“That’s the [result] siguro ‘yung work namin nina Jack, lahat ng Gilas women’s na talagang nakikilala na konti-konti. Hopefully, more. I mean, more. ‘Yun naman yung goal natin sa Gilas.”

Aquino continues to be on the lookout for possible talents here and abroad, and said he will send invites to those players.

“Some of them, already nalagay ko na sa pool like Kaycee [Dela Rosa], I’m gonna invite Kaycee, also from UST, [Tacky] Tacatac and [Eka] Soriano. La Salle, Lee Sario, you know, those players were also recruited by me before but they eventually went to other schools,” Aquino said.

Aquino is also set to travel to the United States to scout more players and a possible player to be naturalized.

“I’ll be going around talking to the other players na like Gabi Bade, Stefanie Berberabe, sila Ella [Fajardo], what are their plans? Are they coming back? Am I hoping? Am I expecting you to be here then I’ll be talking to other players like you know, Kayla Padilla, Vanessa de Jesus, there’s one in George Washington si Aurea Gingras, and then Mai Loni Henson, also, so I’ll be talking with her,” he said.

“And then, hopefully I could find time and talk to coach Cris [Gopez] na makakuha kami ng pwede natin inaturalize kasi as of now, meron kami, nag-go signal na rin si [Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas] President Al Panlilio and masayang-masaya ako dun.”

The year 2023 will be busy for the women’s team as they plan to send a team in some FIBA events such as 3×3 and Asia Cup, and a possible stint at the Asian Games.

—JMB, GMA Integrated News

GMA Sports News

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