Jamie Malonzo couldn’t say thank you enough now that FIBA has said he can play for Gilas Pilipinas as a local player. At Okbet PBA Online News, you can look at the PBA Moneyline, point spread, or over/under (totals).
The talented player who was picked second overall in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft said that playing for the national team has been a dream of his since he moved to the country a few years ago to find a better job, so he was thrilled to get the chance.
Many people don’t know that Filipino-American forward Jamie Malonzo got his Philippine passport when he was eight. Jamie Malonzo can now be a local player for Gilas Pilipinas.
Wednesday, June 29, head coach Chot Reyes confirmed that Malonzo had been added to the national team pool. It happened after FIBA finished classifying the Filipino-American forward as a local.
Malonzo, whose mother is Filipina, got his Philippine passport when he was eight. It is something that not many people know.
FIBA says that players born outside of their home country must get the passport of the country they want to play for before they turn 16.
“Jamie said to me, ‘Coach, I don’t understand why people say I’m not eligible. My mom kept saying I’m eligible.’ “I informed him to give me his passport when I went to Las Vegas,” Reyes said in a mix of Filipino and English.
During Malonzo’s off-season trip to the United States, Reyes met with him to find players for the national team. Some of these players played for Gilas Youth in June in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship.
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Malonzo 2nd overall by NorthPort in the PBA Draft
Last year, Malonzo was picked second overall by NorthPort in the PBA Draft. Since that day, he has been one of the brightest young stars in the league. At Okbet PBA Online News, you can keep track of the PBA futures odds for the PBA Championship, the playoffs, and awards for key players.
Malonzo averages 19 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2 blocks, and 1.8 steals this season for the Batang Pier in the Philippine Cup, which is still going on.
But Reyes said that Malonzo’s ability to play for Gilas Pilipinas as a local player is not a sure thing.
“We’re not sure if he’ll make the team, but at least he can try out. It’s one thing to be eligible and another to make the team final.”
Malonzo has to show Reyes that he has what it takes to wear the national colors, which comes with a lot of pressure and expectations, according to Reyes.
“We have to see how he plays with the other guys and does in international competition. International play is very different, so he needs to be able to feel that,” Reyes said.
“It feels heavy to wear the word “Pilipinas” across your chest. You won’t just wear it once and be done with it. It’s not the same. You have to go through that.”
Malonzo will likely try out for a spot on the Gilas Pilipinas team for the FIBA Asia Cup, which will be hosted in Indonesia from July 12 to 24. Finding the best odds for NBA games is only one part of betting on basketball at Okbet PBA Online News.
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