MANILA -- Incoming Ateneo forward Dwight Ramos will have a big role for Gilas Pilipinas when they compete in the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers later this month.
This, according to coach Ryan Gregorio who serves as special assistant to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio.
Ramos is one of the four holdovers from the squad that defeated Indonesia, 100-70, in the February 2020 qualifying window. In that game, he accounted for five points, five rebounds, and two assists in over 16 minutes of action off the bench.
In a recent appearance on "2OT," Gregorio said that Gilas will benefit from Ramos' nonstop activity and hustle inside the court.
"He will play a big role because we need somebody who can play off the ball, who will do the dirty job, getting offensive rebounds, hustling for loose balls, and what he has really is quick feet," Gregorio noted.
"A lot of people are misconstruing height and even heft in getting offensive rebounds, but in reality getting offensive rebounds really entails quick feet, and that is what he has," he added.
The 6-foot-4 Ramos is also stocky enough to hold his own inside the paint, and as a commit of Ateneo de Manila University, he is already familiar with the system that is favored by Tab Baldwin, the program director of Gilas Pilipinas.
Mark Dickel, who coached the national team in the first window last February, noted that Ramos is "gonna be the real deal."
"He's quite unassuming," Dickel said during an appearance on the "Coaches Unfiltered" podcast. "He's a little bigger, he can kind of do a little bit of everything."
Ramos initially played in Cal Poly Pomona before transferring to Ateneo.
"He's not as big or as athletic as some of the guys in the Division 1 level, so he really didn't get the opportunities (there)," Dickel observed. "But he's worked at his game, so over here he's gonna be a huge problem for the UAAP."
For Gregorio, it was not surprising that Dickel spoke highly of Ramos, given his skill set and what he showed during the first qualifying window.
Ramos and the rest of the young Gilas Pilipinas squad are now on their way to Manama, Bahrain, where they will play twice against Thailand in the qualifiers, first on November 27 and again on November 30. Gilas currently has a 1-0 record in Group A thanks to their win against Indonesia in February.