CJ Perez and Chris Newsome pledged their commitment to Gilas Pilipinas if ever they’ll be called up to the national pool in the buildup for the 2023 Fiba World Cup.
Perez said playing for Gilas during the 2019 Fib World Cup in Foshan, China was an unforgettable experience while Newsome said it would be a blessing for him if ever he gets to don the national jersey for the very first time.
“Siyempre para maglaro sa bayan 100 percent committed talaga ako. I will give my best para makatulong sa team,” said Perez. “Playing in the World Cup, talagang sobrang hirap, kaya paghahandaan natin yun.
"It’s an honor na mapasama ulit sa Gilas (kung sakali).”
Newsome said, “Just to be considered is already a blessing for me, and I won’t take that for granted or that lightly at all.”
The names of Newsome and Perez were on a list eyed for a new-look Gilas pool that will make up the team that will compete in various international tournaments leading up to next year’s World Cup.
The first on the list is the third window of the World Cup qualifiers late this month that will have the Filipinos taking on FIBA Asia Cup runner-up Lebanon on the road, and hosting Saudi Arabia in Manila.
In an agreement reached by the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), national coach Chot Reyes was given access to select players from the 10 teams that will not make the finals of the all-Filipino conference.
San Miguel and Meralco are battling each other in the semifinals – it’s Magnolia vs TNT in the other bracket – which meant either Perez or Newsome could be included in the pool for the qualifiers, whichever team falls short of the finals.
“You just kind of take it one step at a time,” said Newsome. “Of course, my focus is here with Meralco. And Gilas? We’ll worry about that whenever we get there.”
“If the opportunity comes, I’ll give everything I have. That’s just the type of player I am. I’ll give my all no matter what.”