WILL Gilas Pilipinas' Sunday night tip-off against Indonesia be the moment when Dwight Ramos becomes a household basketball name?
It was only last year that Ramos moved to the Philippines to try his luck in the local basketball scene. The California-based guard will begin his stint with the Ateneo Blue Eagles. But he's also eager to wear the country’s colors in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, as part of the national team's final 12 roster.
The 21-year-old wouldn’t have it in any other way.
“It’s really crazy, some people may not have seen me play yet. It’s going to be the first time for them. As for me, I’m just really looking forward to representing the nation. I may be new, but I’m doing my best, this is where my heart is at,” Dwight shared with SPIN Life.
He added: “I’m playing for millions. I’m playing for something bigger and it’s a different thing. This is probably the biggest accomplishment in my career, but it’s only the beginning.”
The 6-foot-5 guard owed it all to perseverance and commitment in the team.
“It’s been an everyday thing, the practice," he said, making sure he aced practice attendance, always coming to the training on time. "It’s just day by day leading up to this and finally, I got here. You get what you want with hard work, really. I can’t wait to put that jersey on."
With a final roster consisting of both PBA veterans and the first-timers, Dwight is positive that they've got this. Team captain Kiefer Ravena tops the list for the seasoned players alongside CJ Perez, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Justin Chua, Roger Pogoy, and Abu Tratter, while the younger group in the lineup is made up of Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Juan Gomez de Liano, Matt Nieto, and Dwight.
“We’re going to play confident because the coaches believed in all 24 of us in the pool, so whoever’s the five playing in the court, you can trust them,” the Filipino-Russian guard added.
Ramos also acknowledged that he’s adapting pretty well in the Filipino-style of ball in time for their game in Jakarta, thanks to his ‘friendly’ teammates in the Gilas Pilipinas 24-man pool.
“It’s only been two weeks with these guys and we had already been joking around on the side like we know each other for years. Going out there, it’s going to be business, but at the same time it’s going to be our bonding,” he said.