GILAS Pilipinas cadets Baser Amer, Jiovanni Jalalon, and Scottie Thompson are one in saying their experience playing in the Southeast Asian Games will greatly help their respective team’s campaign in Season 91 of the NCAA.
The three national team members representing the NCAA said they cherish the experience of playing together in the biennial meet in Singapore where the country retained the basketball gold after beating Indonesia in the final.
“Marami kaming natutunan kina Kiefer Ravena, Kuya Marcus (Douthit), at sa ibang mga teammates ko. Dami naming na-experience,” said Jalalon, the ace point guard of the Arellano Chiefs.
For his part, Amer said carrying the colors of the Philippines in the Singapore Games is one of the highlights of his basketball career.
“Sobrang proud kami kasi ang daming Pilipino na sumusuporta sa amin. Laging puno ‘yung venue. Feeling namin nasa Pilipinas kami,” said the top point guard of five-time champion San Beda.
Thompson, the Perpetual Help star, said the cadets team has formed a bond among themselves, thanks to the SEA Games experience.
“Sa labas, magkakaibigan kami kasi sobrang nagkakilala kami dahil sa Gilas,” Thompson said.
Amer, Jalalon, and Thompson were recently named part of the Smart Elite, a group of NCAA players who will serve as sports ambassadors of the telecommunication firm that promotes a ‘Smart life.’
Also included in the group are Rey Nambatac of Letran, Jonathan Grey of College of Saint Benilde, Francis Munsayac of Emilio Aguinaldo College, Tey Teodoro of Jose Rizal University, Joseph Gabayni of Lyceum, Andretti Stevens of Mapua, and Bradwyn Guinto of San Sebastian.
“We encourage young Filipinos to take inspiration from these athletes who have displayed outstanding basketball skills and fierce passion for the sport,” said Smart EVP and consumer business head Ariel P. Fermin.
As part of promoting ‘Smart life’ to customers, postpaid and prepaid subscribers will get free access to Instagram. Subscribers can also get access to iflix, FOX, SPINNR, YouTube, and other services.
SMART Sports marketing manager Epok Quimpo said the company hopes the sports ambassadors will be an inspiration to the youth.
“We just want to identify them so that people can look up at them. This is the so-called next generation of athletes,” said Quimpo.