MANILA, Philippines – Singing the same tune as his peers, Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Dwight Ramos believes it should be up to the players themselves on where they want to play.
Speaking during his introductory press conference as the newest member of Levanga Hokkaido in the Japan B. League, Ramos said it’s a matter of choice on how to tread their path towards their professional and personal success.
“A lot of people are in different circumstances, so if you feel like you want to take a jump outside of the Philippines, do it. If you want to stay in the Philippines with your family, do it. It’s just all your choice,” said Ramos.
“Anybody that has the national team duties of course, we want to have as many people there as we can, we can put together the best team possible for the World Cup next year so, that’s kind of my advice, do what makes you happy,” he added.
This comes at the heels of the recent rejection by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas of William Navarro‘s request to play in the Korean Basketball League due to his legal commitments with the national team and the NorthPort Batang Pier of the PBA.
Ramos, who himself juggles his stints between Japan and Gilas, is thankful for the opportunity to play for the national team as it helps him in his Japan stint as well.
One of the main playmakers of the Philippines, the 6-foot-4 guard averaged 14.8 points, 7.3 assists, and 2.5 assists during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers, figures that caught the eye of Levanga management.
“What we see in Dwight, first and foremost, is he’s a hard worker,” said Levanga general manager Takahiko Kiyonaga. “Whatever color jersey he is wearing, in any level that he plays, winning or losing, and it’s very difficult for many coaches to teach being a hard worker but he is a hard worker and that says a lot about himself.”
“Not to mention that he’s got a high basketball IQ on both ends of the floor…he’s really into rebounding, switching on defense and pushing the ball in transition, attacking the paint, creating opportunities for himself and for his teammates and to overall facilitate this offense,” he continued.
As he helps a team that failed to make it to the post season with a 24-35 record last year, Ramos is setting some modest goals for himself in pushing for a playoff run.
“As long as I am making progress, taking steps forward, letting the team win and as long as record is better than last year, I’m happy with it,” said Ramos.