What can we expect from Gilas Pilipinas new faces Jerom Lastimosa, Schonny Winston and Mason Amos?

Adamson Soaring Falcons star Jerom Lastimosa is among the new faces in the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the 6th window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers. UAAP Media Bureau

There were a few new names and one returnee in the 24-man Gilas Pilipinas pool for the 6th window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers released by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Friday.

Adamson Soaring Falcons top man Jerom Lastimosa, La Salle Green Archers' point guard Schonny Winston and incoming Ateneo Blue Eagles freshman center Mason Amos were the new players included in the list, which also had former Gilas guard Jordan Heading.

Ateneo's Ange Kouame and Francis Lopez and La Salle's Kevin Quiambao rounded up the college players.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra's Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo, Japeth Aguilar and newly-naturalized Justin Brownlee led the PBA players, along with San Miguel Beermen's June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez and Meralco Bolts' Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan. TNT Tropang Giga's RR Pogoy and Calvin Oftana and NorthPort Batang Pier's Arvin Tolentino are also in the pool.

Aside from Heading, who suited up for Gilas in 2020 and 2021, other B.League players who received a call-up were Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, Ray Parks, Carl Tamayo and Dwight Ramos. Kai Sotto of the Adelaide 36ers also got a call-up.

Gilas' Monday practices will resume on Jan. 23. The team plays Lebanon on Feb. 24 and Saudi Arabia on Feb. 27 at the Philippine Arena.

Of the 12 players who suited up for Gilas in the fifth window, only Poy Erram was excluded this time.

Among those returning to the pool who didn't make the last 12, Newsome and the Ravena brothers were either injured or in sick bay, Almazan begged off for personal reasons, while Tolentino and Lopez didn't make the final cut. Fajardo is back after sitting out the fifth window with a throat injury, while Brownlee will be making his Gilas pool debut. William Navarro of NorthPort was also part of the fifth window's pool, but he tore his ACL in the Commissioner's Cup.

This is Heading's first Gilas call-up under Chot Reyes. He was part of Tab Baldwin's all-amateur Gilas pool that saw action in the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in 2020 and 2022 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in 2021. He was drafted by Terrafirma Dyip in the special Gilas draft but opted to play in Taiwan and has since signed with the Nagasaki Velca in Japan's B2 League where he is currently averaging 12.7 points and 3.3 assists.

Lastimosa led the Falcons to a Final Four appearance in Season 85, where they lost to eventual champions Ateneo Blue Eagles. The 6'1 guard averaged 15.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting 39% from the field. Never afraid to take the big shot, Lastimosa has a competitive fire that will make the Gilas scrimmages interesting. He has his work cut out for him, though, as he'll be going up against Thompson, Kiefer Ravena, Perez and Newsome in the battle for the point guard spots.

The Los Angeles-born Winston, who turned 25 on New Year's Day, was classified as a local by FIBA last year, paving the way for him to play for Gilas. He went through a stormy Season 85 with the Green Archers, missing five games and barely playing in three others with either a strained calf or a torn calf, depending on who you believed. DLSU management, upset by his refusal to return to action with their season on the line, barred him from joining the team for its knockout game against the Falcons.

When he did play, Winston was a force in the open court. He averaged 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals, numbers that were dragged down significantly by the scant playing time he got in three games. Winston shot 32.1% from beyond the arc while also possessing a reliable mid-range jumper and a strong move to the basket. Like Lastimosa, he will have to bring something special to the practices to convince Reyes to pick him over the likes of Parks, Pogoy and Heading.

At 18 years and five months, Amos is the youngest member of the pool. The 6'7 forward-center averaged 21.2 points and 5.8 rebounds for Gilas Youth in the 2022 FIBA U18 Championship. A highly sought-after recruit, he has committed to the Blue Eagles for Season 86. A versatile player, Amos can score in the paint and from the outside as well, as evidenced by his 44% clip from 3-point distance during the U18 tournament. Like his fellow amateurs, Amos is up against stiff odds as he will have to compete with Aguilar, Brownlee, Tamayo and Quiambao at the four spot.