Dave Ildefonso and Juan Gomez De Liano are set to embark on another chapter of their basketball career.
Once part of the Gilas Youth team five years ago, the two young stars will team up anew in the all-amateur Gilas Pilipinas squad, this time for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in a bubble setup in Manama, Bahrain.
Gomez de Liano and Ildefonso’s brotherhood also flourished throughout the years despite being rivals in the collegiate league, particularly in the UAAP.
In a tweet by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Thursday, Gomez de Liano and Ildefonso reenacted their photos from way back when during the current FIBA pictorial.
Nothing changed much for the two as Ildefonso, who was a bit skinny before achieving the ripped body he has now, was still all smiles holding onto the muscular arms of Gomez de Liano.
Their hairstyles and jersey numbers were also different and Gomez de Liano got some tattoos after five years.
Basketball, obviously, is the main reason for that connection, having been teammates when the Philippines bagged the gold medal in the 2015 SEABA U-16 Championship in Cagayan de Oro in April 2015.
Six months later, the two also helped Gilas Youth settle for fifth place in the 2015 FIBA Asia U-16 Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Joining Ildefonso and Gomez de Liano in the final 12-man national team lineup are PBA Rookie Draft picks Isaac Go, brothers Matt and Mike Nieto and Rey Suerte, and collegiate stars Kobe Paras, Justine Baltazar, Kenmark Carino, Dave Ildefonso, Will Navarro, and Juan’s brother Javi.
Gilas Pilipinas, under the helm of coach Jong Uihico, has less than 12 hours before taking on an all-pro Thailand basketball squad on Friday. (Nov. 27).