BULACAN, Philippines – Not bad for a Gilas Pilipinas first-timer.
Mason Amos showed he deserved his national team spot as he impressed in his seniors debut, turning in a flawless shooting performance in a 107-96 win over Lebanon in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Friday, February 24.
The youngest in the 12-man roster at 18 years old, Amos finished with 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 clip from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, in just eight minutes of play.
“Playing with PBA players, professional players as an 18-year-old, there is a lot of pressure that comes with that,” said the 6-foot-7 forward.
“Being able to prove that I can play with them, it is great.”
The former Gilas Youth standout looked primed for a quiet seniors debut after barely seeing action in the first half, going scoreless in just a single minute.
But Amos stole the show afterwards as he erupted for 11 points in the third quarter, swishing all of his three triples in the period.
“I was really nervous because there were a lot of fans out here. It took some time to get used to it, but eventually, I got used to it,” said Amos.
The incoming Ateneo big man said it helped his confidence to know that head coach Chot Reyes and his teammates believe in him.
“For the coach to trust you, it is an amazing feeling. All my teammates had trust in me, had faith in me. I appreciate it,” he said.
“They just told me to be confident in my shot. They said if I get a look, take it.”
Amos aims to crack the lineup again as the Philippines wraps up the Asian Qualifiers against Jordan on Monday, February 27, at the Philippine Arena. – Rappler.com
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