January 1, 2022 | 10h59
MANILA, Philippines – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) strengthened its youth program for Gilas women by appointing a team coordinator on Friday.
A pivot in recent moves to recruit the senior national team, US coach Cris Gopez has officially linked up with the SBP for the 16 and 18-year-old programs.
Gopez, who operates his own Fil-Am Nation Select business, has helped several female Gilas Fil-Am prospects like Stefanie Berberabe and Mai Loni Henson obtain their dual citizenship and thus became eligible to play for Gilas Women.
“I am excited and looking forward to building the women’s program and bringing medals to our Filipino country,” Gopez wrote.
Gopez and Fil-Am Nation Select have organized several recruiting showcases for the Gilas Women’s Program.
Welcoming Gopez, officially, will help recruit young talent from across the United States before they reach the age of 16.
Interacting with potential national team talents at an early stage will help them obtain Philippine passports quickly and thus make them eligible for FIBA sanctioned events like the Asian Cup.
“I also want to thank all the families who have entrusted me with raising the level of their daughter’s game – Philippines is for you,” he said.
According to Fil-Am Nationl Select, trials for the youth teams will soon be announced for prospects in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Besides her work with the Gilas Women’s National Team program, Gopez also plays a role in bringing Fil-Am talent to college hoop teams nationwide.
In the CV, Gopez also assists other national teams like volleyball, soccer, and baseball.