MANILA, Philippines -- Incoming Ateneo big man Mason Amos missed out on an opportunity to play for the Gilas Pilipinas youth team in 2019.
As he makes his return to the local basketball scene, the Fil-Australian Amos is hopeful that another chance to represent the Philippines will materialize for him.
"I've always wanted to play for the Philippines and represent," said the 18-year-old Amos, who was called up to the Gilas Pilipinas Youth pool for the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship in 2019.
His participation in that tournament, which was supposed to be held in 2020, did not push through as the competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amos, who briefly studied in the Ateneo de Manila High School, also returned to his hometown of Brisbane, Australia where he is completing his high school education.
The 6-foot-7 Amos committed to play collegiate basketball for the Blue Eagles on Monday and said that a stint for Gilas Pilipinas remains one of his goals.
"It's been one of my goals moving forward. That didn't really happen back then, because I came home, obviously," said Amos. "I look forward to playing for them if I get the opportunity to."
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin believes that a Gilas call-up is a realistic goal for Amos, whom he called a versatile big man who can play both in the post and in the perimeter for Ateneo.
"I certainly hope that he gets an opportunity with Gilas," said Baldwin, who coached the national team until March of this year. "And then obviously beyond that, as a professional."
"I think he has potential for both. He has enthusiasm for both, and he already knows from his mom and dad that it takes hard work and putting yourself around the right people to be able to get there," he added.
"We're thrilled that he's chosen us to be those people to help him achieve his dreams."
Amos will graduate high school in Brisbane in December and will be eligible to play for Ateneo starting Season 86 in 2023.