Ambohot thrilled to be part of Gilas’ “23 for 23” pool

By: Jonash Dannug
January 10, 2018

Letran bigman Jeo Ambohot raises a high-five to fans during their victory against the Arellano Chiefs last November 21, 2017 at San Juan Arena. Photo by Luis Alfonso Tamondong.

Letran Knights’ rising star Jeo Ambohot is elated to be part of Gilas Pilipinas’ 23-man training pool for the 2023 FIBA World Cup which will be co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

The Knights’ starting center received the good news through a text message while enjoying his vacation at his hometown in Compostela Valley. “Tinext ako ng isa sa coaching staff ng Gilas,” Ambohot shared. “Sobrang saya kasi minsan lang ‘to, tsaka madami talaga akong matututunan,” he added.

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes released the ’23 for 23’ list on his official twitter account last January 5.

Right then, Ambohot participated in the squad’s first training last Monday at the Meralco Gym. 

The 6-foot-6 Ambohot enjoyed his breakout season by exploiting his length on the defensive end as well as hitting occasional three-pointers for Letran – qualities that the Gilas coaching staff might have found valuable of him. The lanky big man can also run the floor and beat defenders off the dribble, making him a reliable fit for Gilas’ dribble drive offense. However, Ambohot admitted that he needs to bulk up in order to match the physicality during international competitions. “Pa-kondisyon tsaka pa-laki ng katawan kailangan,” he said.

With the lack of experience from international scenes, the young hopeful draws motivation from Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon -- who is currently part of the elder Gilas pool and a former teammate of Ambohot in Arellano University. “Tinawag niya ako [nung practice], magkakilala na kasi kami niyan dati pa sa Arellano,” he said. “Sabi niya magsipag lang ako kasi sa dinami-dami ng basketball player, napili pa ako, kaya i-grab ko na ‘yung opportunity na ‘to.”

Ambohot has embraced his role as Letran’s cornerstone. Now, he faces a much bigger challenge as he will now be acknowledged as one of our country’s future basketball players possibly competing at the international level. Despite the pressure, Ambohot vows to play hard and give his 100 percent effort for both Gilas and Letran.