With the women's basketball national team receiving the limelight, Fil-foreign prospects are stepping up to boost the program.

/ 28 December 2020

Mai-Loni Henson, Kayla Padilla, and Mia Yanogacio are among the prospects expressing their intention to play for the Philippines if given the opportunity.

Henson suited up for the University of Washington women’s basketball team and is currently playing pro in Europe.

Her connection with US-based coach Cris Gopez was her stepping stone to reach out to the Philippine team to eventually play basketball for the country.

“He was actually able to connect me with the coaches of the Philippine national team so I’m hoping in the future, that I can go over there and represent my country,” said Henson.

“I’m looking forward to [it] and I know my mom is really excited,” she added.

Padilla, on the other hand, is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania and the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.

After her collegiate career, she is looking forward to taking part in the Gilas Women’s team and being able to represent the Philippines, especially with her fellow Filipina ballers.

“[It’s] definitely been an interest of mine. Obviously now just trying to take it day by day… just getting through college first but I’d love to represent my country,” Padilla said.

For University of Delaware’s Yanogacio, she wanted to follow the footsteps of his father that have previously played here in the country.

A combine for Fil-foreign hoopers based in the United States will be held by Head Coach Patrick Aquino to see prospects like Henson, Padilla, Yanogacio, and more Gilas aspirants interested to join the program.

Despite not being allowed to play in FIBA-sanctioned competitions because of eligibility rules, Fil-foreign recruits will be allowed to don the national team jersey for the Jones Cup, and the Southeast Asian Games.