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Mason Amos sees Gilas senior squad call-up as 'biggest career milestone'

Mason Amos is heavily in the mix to crack Gilas' final lineup for the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Mason Amos hasn't even played an official game in collegiate basketball yet, but he could be up for a baptism of fire in possibly his first game as part of Gilas Pilipinas' first team.

With Gilas' big man rotation possibly short due to Japeth Aguilar's injury and Kai Sotto's decision to focus for the meantime in his upcoming stint in the Japan B.League, the six-foot-seven stretch big could be a cinch to make the Final 12 in either or maybe even both of Gilas' upcoming games against Lebanon and Jordan at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue.

For Amos, however, just making the pool is already a career-defining moment for him.

"This is the biggest milestone of my career, and I've only just started," Amos told Dugout Philippines after the national team practice on Monday night at the Meralco Gym here.

However, he admitted that he is surprised that at just 18 years old, he would be teaming up with professional basketball players who are as young as their mid-20s or, in the case of Kelly Williams, as old as the 40s.

"I was really ecstatic because I was shocked that someone my would really get the chance to play with all these veterans from the PBA and being able to fight with them against all the other countries and represent the Philippines. I've only played in the youth level, so playing in the seniors is something new, and I'm hoping I can counter for it," added Amos, who was part of Gilas' under-18 team in the FIBA U-18 Asia Cup last year.

Despite having to adjust to the pro ball style of play this early, the incoming Ateneo freshman said that the transition is smooth thanks to consistently training with the veterans in the game.

"Just by constantly training with them every single training, you get used to the physicality over time. It takes time, but I'm adjusting pretty well because all the tips that they're giving me is helping me a whole lot," Amos further said.

He then said that he is willing to accept his role in Gilas coach Chot Reyes' dribble-drive offense system.

"I'm a really systematic type of player, so I can really fit into whatever system that's there, because I'm not the type of guy that just plays around whatever the system is," Amos said, adding that he can easily transition to coach Tab Baldwin's system with the Blue Eagles once he shifts his attention to the upcoming college basketball preseason.

He then hopes that he can bring the lessons from Bocaue to Loyola Heights once the varsity hoop circuit reopens shop.

"I want to try and gain as much experience as I can. I'm not sure what type of experience it'll be, whether it's being a leader more, the physicality and the speed of the game, guarding bigger players, so I'm hoping I can take it into Ateneo and share it with my teammates because we've got to prepare for UAAP Season 86," concluded Amos, who could get a vital role in the Blue Eagles' title defense.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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