Canada’s Corey Joseph said that Filipino shooting guards are good enough to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the very near future.
Joseph was impressed how Gilas Pilipinas employed a fast-paced, three-point shooting game against France, noting that Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes and Terrence Romeo played impressive basketball.
“Not even in the next generation. Of course, Filipino players can play in the NBA. You know what I mean it could be soon, very soon because everybody can make it to the NBA from anywhere,” Joseph, 24, told The Manila Times. “They are good.”
Though Gilas lost to France 83-94, Joseph, a Toronto Raptors combo guard and a former San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, said that he admires the Philippine team’s toughness.
“They [Gilas] played very well and they are a good team. It was a hard fought game. They were electrified with good guards playing with up tempo game and their three-point shooting was also great.”
Joseph had an outstanding first game in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, leading the Canadians with 21 points and five assists. Canada won 77-69 win over Turkey on Tuesday.
“It is my first time here in the Philippines, had a game yesterday [Tuesday] and the game’s atmosphere is really great. Filipinos are crazy about basketball,” said Joseph.
Even French leading point guard Tony Parker of San Antonio Spurs admired and respected the way the Filipinos played against them.
“Filipino guards played with high energy and you have to give a lot of credit to them. They played a great game,” said Parker. “They were pretty good, they were very aggressive, they tried to make stuff happen,” he added.
JOSEF T. RAMOS