The Somali Institute of Chinese Studies (SICS), which describes itself as a “Think Tank covering China’s impact on Somalia & Africa”, has questioned the legitimacy of the Gilas roster, arguing that it is composed mostly of “either African-Americans or Africans”.
The group singled out Justin Brownlee, Chris Newsome, Ange Kouame, CJ Perez, and even FIBA players Jamie Malonzo, AJ Edu, and Jordan Clarkson.
2/2 African-Americans: US Born
Jamie James Malonzo
Jordan Clarkson (Both his parents served US Air Force)
Ivory Coast: Ange Kouame
Ariel Ayotunde Edu (AJ EDU)
Christian Perez (CJ Perez)
Catch🥵: Mothers have Filipino roots pic.twitter.com/zz4NYfPpZL
— Somali Institute of Chinese Studies (@Somali_ICS) October 5, 2023
“There is a big difference to have one or two naturalized players but to have the entire #GilasPilipinas squad made from US citizens (African-Americans professional NBA talents, naturalized Africans – under Filipino narratives) that is no diversity that’s called being a US colony,” tweeted SICS.
However, Gilas defenders were quick to note that the argument is moot, considering that players of mixed ethnicities and diverse backgrounds aren’t exclusive to the National team, nor to the Philippines as a whole.
With regards to fielding naturalized players Justin Brownlee and Ange Kouame, China also tapped the services of NBA player Kyle Anderson aka Li Kaer for its recent FIBA run.
“They’re Filipino-Americans, they’ve got a Filipino parent. It’s common in the Philippines. Also, lots of ethnic Filipinos serve in the US Army and Navy”, said one tweet.
“Other than Brownlee and Kouame, everyone in the roster is Filipino and qualified to play for the team. It’s like the US having Hakeem Olajuwon in ’96 (no American decent), Greece having the Antetokounmpo brothers (no Greek decent), and China having Kyle Anderson. Try again,” said another.
Regardless of arguments, the Philippines is one of Asia’s best once again – a fact that no one can take away.
Other than Brownlee and Kouame, everyone in the roster is Filipino and qualified to play for the team.
It's like the US having Hakeem Olajuwon in '96 (no American decent), Greece having the Antetokounmpo brothers (no Greek decent), and China having Kyle Anderson.
Try again. pic.twitter.com/Q7J1RbG8Xn
— cardhub.ph (@CardHubPH) October 6, 2023
Dude, CJ Perez is an Ilocano (an ethnic group in Ph) 😂. Malonzo, Newsome, Kouame are Ph based since college. Jordan Clarkson is half-Pinoy but didn't have Ph passport on early age. Justin Brownlee has been playing as import for nearly a decade here. Keep yapping.
— daing gunggong-learning experience era (@ibonito_) October 6, 2023
Giannis is full Nigerian, no Greek blood. Joel Embiid is full Cameroonian most likely he will paly for team USA. There are alot of mixed filipinos living in the Philippines and abroad, if you don't like diversity then sounds like you're a racial supremacist.
— Authoritah (@emerald387) October 7, 2023