MAI-LONI Henson is set for her Gilas Pilipinas Women debut next year.
National women's team coach Pat Aquino bared the development as he Gilas Women parade the former Washington University standout in tournaments in 2022.
"She will join us this February," he shared on Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
The 6-foot-1 Henson adds more ceiling to the Philippine team and will bring in her might after averaging 6.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in her last season with the Huskies and a run with the ALA Le Havre Basket in France.
Unfortunately, she will be playing as a naturalized player for Gilas Women, who are looking to retain the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, and are looking to see action in the 2022 Fiba Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournaments and the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Gilas Women at the Fiba Women's Asia Cup
Still, Aquino is pleased Gilas Women have more options.
The question, however, is will they be available when that call comes?
"For now, ang akin is yung scheduling nila. That’s the most important factor first, na makuha natin yung commitment nila. And then siguro when they’re committed already, then let’s talk about the long term program," he said.
It was the case for Fil-Am Kelli Hayes, who had to beg off from the 2021 Fiba Women's World Cup in Amman due to scheduling uncertainties, and for Ella Fajardo, already ruled out for the first quarter of 2022 due to her NCAA obligations with Fairleigh Dickinson University.
"As of now, it's the scheduling for those people who are overseas. Talagang makakatulong sila sa atin with their experience coming in, and I'm looking forward na siguro mas marami pang darating."
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.