Ramos gives Gilas another extra weapon


    THE Gilas Pilipinas training pool for the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers is nearly complete.

    Ateneo guard Dwight Ramos arrived yesterday at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna after completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine since his arrival from California earlier this month to boost the nationals, who are toughening up for the qualifiers set next month in a bubble in Clark.

    With Ramos getting onboard, the Gilas pool is now only waiting for US-based Kai Sotto.

    The 6-foot-5 Ramos joined fellow amateur standouts Isaac Go, twins Matt and Mike Nieto, guard Rey Suerte, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño, guard Dave Ildefonso, big men Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, William Navarro, Kemark Cariño, and the Blue Eagles’ Angelo Kouame of Ivory Coast, a candidate for naturalization, in the bubble camp.

    Six pros are also fighting for slots in the final 12 – the NLEX duo of Kiefer Ravena and Raul Soyud, the TNT pair of Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario, Terrafirma wingman CJ Perez, and Phoenix slotman Justin Chua.

    Ramos, 22, proved his worth in the second window last November after he led the Philippines with 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting, to go with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in Gilas’ 93-61 ripping of Thailand and then followed it up with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists in their 93-69 demolition job of the Thais to complete an emphatic two-game sweep.

    Gilas clashes with South Korea on Feb. 18, a reset of their initial match that was postponed in the second window, in Group A action, according to a schedule released by the FIBA.

    The Filipino cagers tangle with Indonesia on Feb. 20 and then South Korea on Feb. 22 anew.

    The FIBA, however, has yet to release the time and venue for the matches.