Dwight Ramos looks to beef up Gilas Pilipinas’ tilt in the February window of the 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers as he takes a break from his Japan B. League campaign.

/ 5 February 2022

Newly appointed coach Chot Reyes bared the development that the Gilas Pilipinas rising star is set to arrive in the country on Friday to join the Gilas buildup for the qualifiers to be hosted by the country at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“He’ll be arriving tomorrow. He’ll be there [in February],” Reyes said during Thursday’s SPIN Zoom In episode.

This means that the 23-year-old guard will now miss Toyama’s last set of games for the month against Javi Gomez de Liaño and the Ibaraki Robots at Adastria Mito Arena scheduled on February 5 and 6.

After the B.League break, Toyama is set to face Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars on March 2 but Ramos’s return by that time is uncertain due to Japan’s existing quarantine rules.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has scrapped its mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated persons, and returning overseas Filipinos like Ramos, which means that he can likely join Gilas practices as soon as he presents a negative RT-PCR test.

The Gilas stalwart will be a big boost once again for the national team, especially after the mass exit of the 2019 full-time core of Ange Kouame, Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and brothers Matt and Mike Nieto.

Ramos will be fighting alongside TNT Tropang Giga players with coach Reyes who is expected to be joined by New Zealand coach Nenad Vucinic and assistant coach Jong Uichico in preparing the team in three weeks’ time. 

The 6-foot-4 Filipino-American winger steered Gilas to 6-0 in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, wherein he tallied 13.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.

Then, he took his talent to Japan B.League with the Toyama Grouses where he is currently averaging 9.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per contest.

Gilas is slated to face Korea on Feb. 24, India on Feb. 25, New Zealand on Feb. 27, and Korea again on Feb. 28 in the opening Group A games set at the Big Dome.