Tim Cone taps Japeth Aguilar, Mason Amos as Gilas Pilipinas reserves

The new-era Gilas Pilipinas has bolstered its frontcourt depth with the addition of Brgy. Ginebra stalwart Japeth Aguilar and sharpshooter Mason Amos to the reserve pool, a strategic move by head coach Tim Cone to address potential big man shortages due to injuries or other absences.

This decision, as announced by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, showcases Cone’s proactive approach to building a well-rounded team for future training camps and international tournaments.

“We’re excited that Mason and Japeth agreed to be our alternates in Gilas,” saod Cone.

“The first [FIBA] window showed us that we were a little thin in our lineup after AJ Edu, June Mar [Fajardo], and Jamie [Malonzo] missed our game versus Chinese Taipei due to injuries, and we were left with only nine players and only Japeth as a replacement to make 10,” he added.

With Aguilar’s experience and Amos’ shooting prowess, Gilas now boasts a formidable combination of post defense and offensive firepower. This dynamic duo adds a mix of veteran leadership and youthful exuberance to the squad, setting the stage for a promising future under Cone’s guidance.

“So now, Japeth and Mason will practice and travel with the original 12 and be ready to step in if the need arises. If we lose one of our bigs, Japeth will step in. If any of the others, Mason will fill the hole. Mason, too, because of his youth, projects as one of the regulars over time,” explained Cone.

The team’s recent success in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, with dominant victories over Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, further underscores their potential for greatness in the years to come.

As Gilas prepares for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Europe, where they will face stiff competition from basketball powerhouses like Georgia and Latvia, the addition of Aguilar and Amos provides a solid foundation for success.

With a renewed sense of optimism and depth in the frontcourt, Gilas is poised to make waves on the international stage and continue to make the Philippines proud.

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