IS Joshua Munzon eligible to play for Gilas Pilipinas?
That question was posed by readers on SPIN.ph’s social media account after a run of impressive play by the Fil-American guard for the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Munzon was particularly impressive last Sunday when he had 25 points and seven steals to lift the Dragons to a stunning 101-91 overtime win over Alab Pilipinas at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.
Intrigued, we tossed the question to Munzon, who quickly shot down the possibility of playing for the Philippine national team, not because he doesn’t want to.
The US-born Munzon said he just got his Philippine passport a few months ago to be eligible to play as a heritage import (players from Southeast Asia tapped by teams other than from their country of origin) for his former team Saigon Heat in the ABL.
Apparently, Munzon is also aware of the Fiba rule where a player must be a passport holder of his heritage country before he turned 16 years old to be eligible to play for the national squad.
“I think for Gilas you have to have your passport before you were 16. I just got mine a couple of months ago,” said Munzon, whose father is a Filipino.
Even though he may not be able to play for Gilas in the future unless the current rules are changed, Munzon said he likes the prospect of being a member of the national team in the future.
“It would be an amazing opportunity for me to represent the Philippines on the national team. I'd be honored and grateful to be a part of the national team,” said the 6-foot-3 Munzon.