Filipino-American guard Dwight Ramos is arguably the biggest revelation for Gilas Pilipinas in the first two windows of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
In his first three outings with the national team, Ramos averaged 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.7 steals to help the Philippines stay unbeaten.
Back in November, Ramos put up a perfect game for Gilas as he finished with 20 points on a very impressive 7-of-7 shooting to go with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals in a 93-61 victory over Thailand.
Given his natural scoring ability and elite playmaking skills, Ramos hopes to sustain his all-around play in the third window of the qualifiers in June, but he also made it clear that playing defense will be his top priority as they are set to go up against powerhouse South Korea and vastly improved Indonesia.
“I’m hoping to just bring that same energy I’ve brought in the other games,” Ramos told Rappler on Friday, May 14.
“Playing solid defense will be my main focus being that these teams (Korea and Indonesia) are good offensively. So probably good defense and hustle plays for sure,” he added.
Ramos and the rest of the young Gilas squad are currently in a training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna in preparation for the final window of the qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga from June 16 to 20, as well as the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia from June 29 to July 4.
The 22-year-old Ramos, who is already one of the team’s most experienced players, also mentioned that he is slowly answering the challenge of Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin to be more of a vocal leader to the all-amateur squad. (READ: Tab Baldwin challenges Dwight Ramos to embrace Gilas leadership role)
“I’m getting there,” said Ramos.
“I’m trying to explain little things to the younger guys that I have learned with my experience to help them understand the game and make it easier for them.” – Rappler.com