FOR someone who had played against them, the Indonesian cagers clashing with Gilas Pilipinas in the next few days won’t just roll over and die. In other words, the Filipinos are in for a rough sailing in their very first game in the opening window of the Fiba Asia qualifiers.
Ask San Miguel Beer’s veteran point guard Chris Ross.
“I’m sure it will be a pretty good game, with what (coach) Rajko (Toroman) does with those guys, and how he has those guys drilled,” said Ross, a member of the National team that beat Indonesia on its way to the championship in last year’s 30th SEA Games in Manila.
And for Ross, there’s one player who should be giving the Filipinos a lot of headache when they play the Indonesians in Jakarta on Sunday. He’s no other than naturalized player Lester Prosper.
If Prosper’s name sounds familiar to PBA fans, it’s because he saw action for Columbian Dyip as its import in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup. And he impressed, averaging 33.6 points, 16.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.0 steal per game for the Dyip.
“Prosper and the rest of his teammates will be worthy challengers to the Philippine team,” said Ross, who dropped by Gilas’ practice several nights ago at the Meralco gym.
“He (Prosper) has been over there working for a long time, and he’s really, really excited for this game,” said Ross.
But Ross is confident the Filipinos will eventually beat the Indonesians.
“I got faith in these guys, that they’re gonna work and put the best 12 together and go out there and compete,” the SMB guard said.
Prosper missed the SEA Games after failing to get clearance to play for Indonesia last December.
Without Prosper, the PH team made up of the finest in the pro league took an easy time beating the Indonesians, 97-70, with Ross scoring 11 points, dishing out 6 assists and taking 5 rebounds.
The PH squad is expected to be composed of a mix of young, up-and-coming players and PBA veterans, with Kiefer Ravena of NLEX and Magnolia’s Marc Pingris heading the pool of candidates.