THE offer was well appreciated. Unfortunately, Charles Rhodes is just a bit overqualified for the Gilas Pilipinas program.
National coach Chot Reyes acknowledged the willingness of the San Miguel Beer import to become part of the pool of naturalized players being assembled for Gilas, but admitted that Rhodes’ age may not make him suitable in the team’s plan.
Other than talent and skills, Reyes said the national team program is putting premium on youth as far as choices for naturalized players are concerned.
"Appreciate the offer of @officialcrhodes to play for Gilas. We really like his game," he said on his official Twitter account @coachot on Tuesday.
"But our mandate in the search for naturalization candidates is to go for youth - in the 23-28 yo range," added Reyes, who cited the case when the team tapped current naturalized player Andray Blatche, who was 27 years old by the time he came on board for Gilas during the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Rhodes, who helped power the Beermen to the Commissioner's Cup championship two months ago, just turned 32.
It was also on his Twitter account @officialcrhodes that the American offered his willingness to suit up as a naturalized player for Gilas.
"@coachot. Hello coach. I want to play for you and the Philippines. Please consider, as I want to represent this country on and off the court," said the Best Import awardee in a tweet on Sept 2.
He eventually got wind of Reyes' reply and profoundly thanked the Gilas Pilipinas mentor for his kind words.
Still Rhodes has some parting words for Reyes to ponder.
"But I understand you are looking for youth. And I hope you all find that. But this is the COLOSSUS. Age ain't nothing but a Number."
Nonetheless, Rhodes expressed his all-out support for Gilas.
“#WeArePBA. I'm cheering for #Gilas regardless if l'm on the Team or Not. It's #TeamPhilippines."