Up to the task: Dwight Ramos takes on point guard role for Gilas Pilipinas in Olympic qualifiers

Delfin Dioquino

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Up to the task: Dwight Ramos takes on point guard role for Gilas Pilipinas in Olympic qualifiers

SHOT. Dwight Ramos in action for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2024 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.


With Scottie Thompson out with an injury, Gilas Pilipinas hands the point guard reins to Dwight Ramos for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

MANILA, Philippines – Point guard duties fall on Dwight Ramos as injured star Scottie Thompson sits out Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Riga, Latvia.

It is a new responsibility for the 6-foot-4 stalwart as he usually plays as a wing for the national team, but it is not exactly an unfamiliar territory for Ramos after being primed for the job by former Philippine head coach Tab Baldwin.

“A couple of years ago with coach Tab, he was preparing me for this role. I just kept on working on it and I got a chance now to do that so I just got to do my best,” said Ramos.

Ramos, though, admitted the absence of Thompson is a major blow as the squad misses the playmaking and rebounding of the former PBA MVP.

Thompson got sidelined by a nagging back injury that kept him out for a huge chunk of the previous PBA Philippine Cup.

“He is a big loss. We’re trying to pick up his place but it is a big shoe to fill,” said Ramos, who will share the backcourt chores with Chris Newsome and CJ Perez.

Ramos showed a seamless transition to his new task as he powered the Nationals to a 74-64 win over the Taiwan Mustangs in a tuneup game on Monday, June 25, before they left for Europe.

He finished with a team-high 19 points on a 7-of-11 shooting, including a near-perfect 4-of-5 clip from three-point land, to go with 4 steals and 3 rebounds.

“We feel Dwight is capable,” said current Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone.

“He played the wing for us when we had Scottie, but he is moving to the backcourt. He gives us great size. He is still capable of scoring from that position.”

Ramos is one of the only three players, including Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo, remaining from the 12-man roster the team sent to the OQT for the Tokyo Olympics three years ago in Belgrade, Serbia.

Although Ramos failed to suit up due to a groin injury, the Nationals still pushed powerhouse Serbia to the limit and kept in step with Puerto Rico before running out of steam.

This time, the Levanga Hokkaido standout will finally get to see action in the OQT, where the Philippines will face world No. 6 Latvia and No. 23 Georgia in Group A.

“Serbia was a really tough team and we were close. This [Gilas] team is a lot more experienced, bigger, so obviously, we have a good chance,” said Ramos.

“I’m excited to play those two games.”

Sticking with its 11-man lineup, Gilas Pilipinas needs a top-two finish in its group to reach the knockout rounds, with only the winner of the OQT advancing to the Paris Olympics. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.