UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas stalwart Kevin Ferrer Gilas won’t have any second thoughts accepting the invitation of national coach Chot Reyes to become part of the Gilas Pilipinas cadet pool.
Ferrer said it has been a long-time dream of his to become a regular part of the national team.
“Super flattered ako dahil na-consider ako ni coach (Chot),” said the young UST forward in a talk with Spin.ph. "Of course, I'll accept this invitation."
Ferrer was among those Reyes wants to invite to join the cadet pool, joining other collegiate stars such as Kiefer Ravena, Terrence Romeo, Bobby Ray Parks, Chris Newsome, Arnold Van Opstal and Raymomd Almazan.
(For full story, see Ravena, Romeo, Parks, Almazan lead new batch of Gilas cadet invitees)
A member of the 2009 U-16 Philippine team that emerged as Seaba champions, Ferrer said he’s more than honored when he first heard about the invitation extended by the man who steered the country back to the Fiba-World Cup following a sensational runner-up finish in the recent 27th Fiba-Asia Championship.
Following his stint with the Philippine Youth team under coach Eric Altamirano, Ferrer said he’s long been waiting for the chance to wear the national colors again.
“Oo dream come true ko `yun (ang i-represent ang Philippines),” he said.
What’s more, members of the squad that included Ravena, Jeron Teng, Gelo Alolino, Mike Tolomia, and Parks vowed to each other that if called for national cause again, they’re all willingly lend their services.
"After ng RP Youth may promise kami sa isa't-isa na pag tinawag kaming i-represent ang bansa, walang isip-isip, 'oo' na agad,: he said.
Although the 6-foot-4 forward is still in the midst of the Growling Tigers' bid to make the Final Four of UAAP Season 76, he said he’s very excited about the prospect of becoming a national player again.
“Gustung-gusto ko ma-represent 'yung bansa natin katulad noong nasa RP Youth team pa ako. I was so proud then,” he recalled.
Ferrer has also represented the country earlier this year as part of the 3-on-3 team that competed in the Fiba-Asia tilt in Doha, Qatar. He had for his teammates fellow Blackwater players Gio Ciriacruz, Robby Celiz, and Bacon Austria.
Former youth teammate Ravena, on the other hand, would rather focus first on the ongoing UAAP season before thinking about another stint with the national team.
“Syempre honored, pero focus pa rin sa UAAP muna,” said the Ateneo star, a member of the Sinag Pilipinas squad that retained the Southeast Asian Games gold medal two years ago in Indonesia. “But I would love to serve the country. (At) basta 'di makaka-affect sa school.”