The plan is to get a pool of naturalized players eventually, but to start the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas is going full All-Filipino.
The Philippines has no naturalized player listed in its original 24-man lineup for the pair of games against Thailand and Indonesia this month.
It's a different kind of challenge as Gilas has relied on naturalized players like Marcus Douthit and Andray Blatche — even Christian Standhardinger if we're being technical about it — through the years.
"Tulung-tulong na lang talaga," veteran Marc Pingris said.
Pingris has some experience in pushing Gilas to key victories in the absence of naturalized players. The Philippines got its ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Cup with an All-Filipino crew.
"Kahit wala kaming naturalized player, ang dami naman okay na player na bata," Pingris added.
For this brand-new Gilas team, Pingris sees a different approach for the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
All the fresh legs in the national team pool will be utilized accordingly says Pingris. The future is certainly bright.
"More running game itong team ngayon," Pingris said.
"But kailangan nila ng guide, kailangan nila ma-absorb kung paano maglaro sa FIBA, ito future natin eh. Nandito lang kami para i-guide sila," he added.