ADAMSON’S Jerom Lastimosa — UAAP MEDIA

ADAMSON’S Jerom Lastimosa and La Salle’s (DLSU) Schonny Winston could be the next collegiate stars in line for a Gilas Pilipinas call-up soon.

Head coach and program director Chot Reyes said inviting the two UAAP standouts is on the horizon, though his coaching staff has yet to reconvene and compile an official training pool for the national team’s next tour of duty.

“We can invite Jerom, Schonny and the others but I’ll have to confer with the coaching staff first,” Mr. Reyes told The STAR ahead of Gilas’ reassembly in February for the sixth and last window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Mr. Lastimosa and Mr. Winston recently completed campaigning in UAAP Season 85.

Prior to his calf injury, Fil-American gunner Mr. Winston led the MVP race behind league-best averages of 21.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while Mr. Lastimosa put up 14.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists including an array of heroics to lift Adamson to the Final Four.

Mr. Winston, who has been cleared by FIBA as a local player, previously expressed his desire to play for Gilas while Mr. Lastimosa vowed to be ready when his number gets called in the aftermath of Adamson’s Final Four exit at the hands of No. 1 Ateneo, 81-60.

“Yes of course. Kapag kinuha nila ako, siyempre, i-grab ko ang opportunity na iyun. Hindi ko hahayaan na mawala iyun. Para iyun sa bayan natin (If I am called, I will grab he opportunity. I will not let that chance pass. It’s for the country)” said Mr. Lastimosa, who has not yet decided whether to play his last year in the UAAP or go pro.

If ever, Mr. Lastimosa and Mr. Winston would join UP’s Carl Tamayo, Ateneo’s Ange Kouame and La Salle’s Kevin Quimbao as UAAP representatives to the national team.

Last month, the UAAP paused its season for two weeks to accommodate Gilas during the fifth window, where it swept Jordan and Saudi Arabia in road games played in the Middle East.

Mr. Tamayo, who suited up in the FIBA Asia Cup and fourth window, begged off due to a right ankle injury while Mr. Kouame and Mr. Quiambao played vital roles in Gilas’ campaign ahead of the last window at the Philippine Arena against Jordan once more as well as tormentor Lebanon. — John Bryan Ulanday