Gilas Pilipinas player Dwight Ramos expressed excitement as he is expected to join the bubble training camp inside Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.
Ramos is still finishing the government-required 14-day quarantine as he recently returned from the United States after being away for five months.
“I’m getting my swab (in a week), after that I’ll go straight at Inspire and start,” Ramos said Tuesday, May 12, as he appeared on the online show Hoops Life hosted by Aaron Atayde and Jino Rufino.
The 6-foot-4 Ramos is part of the Gilas pool preparing for two international competitions this year, the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga, and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) for the Tokyo Olympics in Belgrade, Serbia.
The national team plays South Korea twice, and Indonesia in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers on June 16 to 20, and then the Filipinos take on the Dominican Republic and host Serbia in the OQT on June 29 to July 4.
Ramos first played for the Nationals during the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Bahrain. There, he introduced himself to Filipino basketball fans with a solid outing as he averaged nearly 13 points with 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games.
Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin recruited Ramos to play for the Blue Eagles, but due to the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup last November, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) had to send a team composed of mostly amateurs.
The Jong Uichico-mentored team did not disappoint as it won all three games, one against Indonesia and twice versus Thailand.
“When I first got here I didn’t expect to be in the national team right away. I was waiting for Ateneo (to start). Just lucky to be called up (Gilas),” said the 21-year-old Ramos, who played college ball for Cal State Fullerton in Division 1 for two years.
When he rejoins the national team, Ramos said he would try something that Baldwin is expecting him to do – be one of the team leaders, which is something the veteran coach knows Ramos is capable of doing despite his quiet demeanor.
Coach Tab has been challenging me for quite sometime now – to kind of be a leader… and be more vocal. That’s something I’m trying to work on. I’m not the loudest person,” said Ramos.
“As time goes on, if I arrive there (bubble), hopefully I can be more of a leader, be more of a vocal guy with the younger players. I might have a little more experience playing internationally.”