It has been said that players are only as good as their last games, but perhaps an exception can be made for Dwight Ramos.
Ramos, who is the only Filipino to have been a fixture in all of the Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team’s qualifying windows for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, only had seven points (on 25 percent shooting from the field) and was a foul away from fouling out in Gilas Pilipinas’ 91-90 loss to Jordan.
The overall performance was quite uncharacteristic for the 24-year old, whose game is more on efficiency than flash, a far cry from some of his peers. Ramos’ ability to score on three levels coupled with his being unafraid of contact have endeared him to GIlas’ avid followers, who are more often than not elated when he has a quietly strong showing.
The opening game against Lebanon was a typical outing for Ramos, who finished with 10 points (on 60 percent shooting from the field and no misses from within the 3-point line), four rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block. Though the next final qualifying window game against Jordan will definitely leave a bad taste in the mouth for Ramos, he’ll definitely have a chance to atone for that.
Ramos, who currently plays for the Japan B.League’s Levanga Hokkaido, will always be a shoo-in for Gilas Pilipinas whenever he is available. He’s always been one to do his job without any qualms and for a head coach like Chot Reyes, who values commitment above all else, Ramos’ work ethic is a perfect fit.
Just because naturalized forward Justin Brownlee provides a certain level of stability on his own doesn’t mean Ramos, who himself can bring down the ball and lead the offense, doesn’t have a spot on the team. The Filipino-American’s versatility would make him an ideal fit regardless of how Reyes and the rest of the Gilas coaching staff utilize him. While he struggled offensively and committed a handful of fouls against Jordan, he was tasked with defending Dar Tucker, who finished the game with a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds, but had to work for his points as evidenced by his 39 percent shooting from the field.
Putting Ramos in a bench role could give Gilas Pilipinas another playmaker off the bench to keep momentum going against stacked teams. While he can always find his shot, he also has the knack for finding his teammates at the right place and at the right time. Besides, one can’t have too many cool heads who can make smart plays in pressure-packed situations.
It would have been great to see Ramos play in the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in May, but given how the B.League will run until that time, that will be unlikely. That his season ends in May, though, should be a good thing for Gilas in the long run, given that he can fully devote his attention to the national team all the way until August. Gilas Pilipinas will reportedly be playing in a pocket tournament as part of its buildup to the 2023 FIBA World Cup and Ramos could figure heavily in that.
All he would need to do between then and now is stay healthy and avoid major injuries. Ramos had to sit out a portion of the current B.League season due to an ankle injury, which also put his Gilas stints in the FIBA World Cup qualifying windows in jeopardy. However, he managed to recover well and that allowed him to return to action both for GIlas and Levanga Hokkaido and the hope moving forward is that he will remain healthy.
Dwight Ramos has been the consummate professional for Gilas Pilipinas, letting his actions and his game speak for himself. That forgettable performance against Jordan stings, but his entire body of work for the national team and his stint in Japan’s B.League is more than enough proof that he’s more than that. Come the 2023 FIBA World Cup, we’ll be back to seeing Ramos at his best.