Photo from FIBA
MANILA, Philippines – Sharp-shooter Jeff Chan says he cannot wait to be back in a jersey with “Pilipinas” plastered up front in bold letters.
“I’m very excited to be part of it again,” said Chan in Filipino as he will once again shoot for flag and country as part of the 17-man Gilas Pilipinas pool of players from the PBA for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament set for July.
“I’ve always wanted to play ever since. It’s truly a different feeling to represent your country.”
The 31-year old gunslinger was not part of Gilas 3.0 and missed the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship as only Gabe Norwood was released by Rain or Shine.
Chan played for the Gilas 2.0 squad that similarly bagged the silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia to earn a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. He is expected to be utilized once more by Gilas coach Tab Baldwin for his offensive capabilities.
Chan’s 3-point shooting was critical for Gilas at FIBA Asia as he lit up the scoreboard either with a barrage of triples or timely shots. He normed 9.1 points and 1.8 rebounds per game then, and played his best game versus Jordan in the group phase going 5-of-7 from downtown for 17 points.
During the FIBA World Cup, the 6-foot-3 Chan also exploded for 17 points on 4-for-6 3-point shooting as Gilas nearly took down Croatia. Chan had 4.8 points a game during the World Cup.
“Hopefully this time the result will be positive,” he said of his return stint for the nationals, whose journey to another 2015 FIBA Asia silver he closely followed.
Gilas Pilipinas will begin once-a-week practices come November as they hope to land one of 3 wildcard slots for the 2016 Rio Olympics.