MANILA, Philippines – National team mainstay Dwight Ramos reiterated his long-term commitment to the Gilas Pilipinas program.
The 25-year-old Filipino-American guard, who is about to play his third season in the Japanese B.League, may be away from the country for the next few months, but his desire to play for Gilas remains.
“At 25, I can’t say with certainty what will happen in the future, but as long as I still play at a high level and my body holds up, I will continue to play for the national team. team,” Ramos said during his press conference with Levanga Hokkaido on Wednesday.
Ramos has been playing in the B.League since 2021, when he signed for the Toyama Grouses before switching to Levanga last season.
Despite his busy schedule, Ramos made sure his stint overseas did not stop him from representing the Philippines. In fact, he was the only Gilas player to see action in all Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifier windows.
The 6-foot-4 Ramos emerged as one of the top players for Gilas Pilipinas, averaging 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals in five games during his World Cup debut in Manila two weeks ago.
Gilas ultimately managed just one World Cup win after beating China in the final match and finishing 24th in the global showcase, but Ramos said he learned so much from the experience.
“During the World Cup, I really prepared for that for a long time, so I was just happy to see that all my preparations more or less came true,” Ramos said. “I think I played really well at the World Cup and I was really preparing for it. That’s one of the things I was happy about. I wish we won more games, but at least we won one game.”
Ramos promises to put all his learnings to use when playing against the best players and teams in the world in his second season with Hokkaido in the 2023/24 B.League season, which starts next month.
“Just the experience of playing against the best players. Every team plays in a different way, so you have to recognize it quickly and learn to counter very quickly. It was a kind of preparation for every match. You learn to prepare game by game. After one game you prepare yourself for the next guy, the next team. So you have to prepare quickly and learn everything quickly,” Ramos said. “I think this is something that could help me in the B. League, where so many teams have to adapt quickly.”
Ramos is also excited to meet his Gilas teammates such as AJ Edu of Toyama and Kai Sotto of the Hiroshima Dragonflies, as well as pool members Ray Parks Jr. of the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, Thirdy Ravena of the San-En NeoPhoenix and Carl Tamayo of the Ryukyu Gold Kings.
“It’s always good when I compete against other Filipinos because it serves as extra motivation that you want to brag about the victory,” he said. “Of course I have the advantage of knowing them, but they probably also think they have an advantage over me. It will probably disappear, but it is just fun to play against each other on the field here in Japan, the B. League.”