Add Mike Myers as one of the possible naturalized candidates for Gilas Pilipinas.
National team head coach Chot Reyes said the 6’9 import, who is TNT KaTropa’s standby replacement for Joshua Smith in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup finals, is being considered by the management to become part of the naturalized players pool of PH 5.
“For now, everyone that we could bring in, of course, are possible candidates,” said Reyes during the team’s training for the upcoming William R. Jones Cup invitational tournament.
Myers was in attendance in the Gilas training on Thursday at the Meralco gym as he’s being considered to beef up the national squad in the annual Jones Cup slated on July 29 to August 2 in Chinese Taipei.
“The urgent thing is to get an import or a naturalized player for the Jones Cup. If things materialized, we’re thinking of bringing him with us in the Jones Cup,” Reyes added.
Currently, Gilas has Andray Blatche as its lone naturalized player but the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is mulling to create a pool of naturalized players with the new format of qualifications for major international tournaments.
Myers welcomed the offer of either playing as an import for Gilas in the Jones Cup or becoming a naturalized player.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with that. That would be a great thing for me.” said the New Jersey-native Myers,
“If that’s they want it to be, I’m ready to play here. I’ll be ready to help and show my talent,” added the 24-year old Myers.
Besides Myers, Bobby Ray Parks, youngster AJ Edu, Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag, Zach Benares, Raymar Jose, Ponso Gotladera, Almond Vosotros, Von Pessumal and Matthew Wright were present in the training. Reyes expects Kobe Paras and Kiefer Ravena to rejoin the pool after their stint in the FIBA 3×3 tournament in France.
JOSEF T. RAMOS