TAIPEI - For much of the week Gilas Pilipinas has spent in this Taiwanese capital, Almond Vosotros and Von Pessumal have mostly stepped aside for their senior teammates.
On Saturday, the duo showed they can pull their own weight.
Rivals from either side of heated Ateneo-La Salle showdowns back home, Pessumal and Vosotros combined to give the Philippines the spark off the bench in an emphatic 101-70 win over India in the 39th Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium.
"Na-miss ko na ang ganito," the 5-foot-9 Vosotros said after hitting four three-pointers against India's zone defense.
The former Green Archers star has not had much success since coming out of college, but hopes to restart his career under the Gilas program where he is set to play for the team bound for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur next month.
"Syempre, malaking tulong sa kumpiyansa ko ito," said the deadshot from Valenzuela, who was so hot he made 11 successive points in one torrid stretch and reached his 14-point total in just eight shots. "Matagal ko ng hindi nagagawa ito."
Pessumal actually got things rolling for Gilas with three treys in the second quarter to spark the breakaway. He also finished with 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
"Every game, I just have one mindset: if I'm open, I'll shoot it," said Pessumal, a former teammate of Kiefer Ravena in Ateneo's champion team in the UAAP.
"I'm always ready for the opportunity; whatever minutes I get it doesn't matter to me."
The duo's breakout performances bode well for Gilas in the SEA Games, where Pessumal and Vosotros are expected to be the top threats from the perimeter with Matthew Wright and Roger Pogoy moving to the other Gilas side bound for the Fiba Asia Cup.
"Von and Almond will be integral parts of that SEA Games lineup, same way with Fons (Gotladera) and Mike Tolomia and (Raymar) Jose," Reyes said. "So to see them get their minutes and do well in the Jones Cup is encouraging."