MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Ateneo de Manila University has secured the commitment of Fil-Australian big man Mason Amos, head coach Tab Baldwin announced on Monday.
The 18-year-old Amos stands at 6-foot-7, and previously played in the 2019 edition of the NBTC Tournament in Manila with the Camp David-New Zealand team. He also briefly studied at the Ateneo de Manila High School before returning to Brisbane, Australia.
In 2019, he was named to the Gilas Pilipinas Youth pool for the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship, but the event was eventually canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is the signing of a big man that has, in the modern game today, those perimeter skills that we love to see, particularly in our program here at Ateneo," Baldwin said. "Mason gives us that inside-outside presence."
"He has the ability to shoot the ball, he can put it down, he rebounds the ball well, and certainly we'll turn him into an enthusiastic defender along the way. There'll be no question about that," he added.
Amos, whose father is from Pampanga and whose mother is from Manila, said he is looking forward to developing his basketball skills under Baldwin's tutelage.
"Coach Tab, he's an international coach, and me playing NBTC, I played with the New Zealand team, I had a little bit of a New Zealand background, and people were telling me about his experiences and how I can develop a lot more under Coach Tab," the big man said.
"My dad knows a guy called Pero Cameron, an Olympian whom Coach Tab coached a while ago. So, I feel like I'll develop the most with Coach Tab out of anyone there," he added.
"I had a lot of other schools offer me, but I felt like Ateneo was a place where I would develop the most."
Amos will graduate high school in December 2022, after which he will fly out to Manila to enroll and join the Ateneo program. He will be eligible to play in the UAAP starting Season 86 in 2023.
"He will enter school in August of 2023, and he will be eligible immediately as a high school graduate, and he will have the full five years of eligibility," said Baldwin.
"We're just so excited to be bringing Mason into the program. I have no doubt that he'll make an immediate impact as soon as UAAP Season 86 starts," he also said.
Amos joins Filipino-American standouts Kainoa "Kai" Ballungay and Andrew Bongo as the latest additions to the Ateneo basketball program.
Ballungay and Bongo's commitment to the team was announced in July 2021. Both players are expected to be eligible starting Season 85, which will be held later this year.