Good Enough for Gilas: Sonny Thoss

2014 is going to be a BIG year for Philippine basketball. This year will mark the first time two of our Philippine National Teams (Men’s and U17) will march onto the world stage and compete at the highest level of international hoops. Our very own Gilas Pilipinas squad will go to Spain and play in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, while the Philippine U17 Team, coached by Jamike Jarin, will troop over to Dubai for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships.

It’s been reported that the Gilas Pilipinas brain trust is keen on tapping more players to join the pool, with the magic number pegged at 24. That means that there are still around eleven slots open.

This is the second piece in a series of posts detailing the players who can be part of that pool. For each named individual, we will look at the good things he can bring to the pool, his probable role should he get named to the final Gilas lineup, and the possible match-ups he will have at the Asian and world levels.

Today, we’ll talk about one of someone whom many people thought should have been part of Gilas 2.0 — Alaska’s veteran big man, Sonny Thoss.

Sonny Thoss should have another shot at
playing for the flag.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/AKTV)

What he brings to the table:
Aside from his enviable skill-set, Thoss has the experience that should make him a solid addition to the national squad. Thoss has played for the national team several times now, donning the Pinoy colors in the 2009 FIBA Asia tourney, the 2012 Jones Cup, and the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup. He played a vital role in all those tours of duty, backing up Asi Taulava in ’09 and Marcus Douthit in ’12.

Thoss has proven time and again how effective he can be. He has enough size and heft to battle against bigger opponents in the paint, but he also has enough mobility to to take advantage of typically flat-footed centers. He has a great back-to-the-basket game, but he can also spot up from midrange. He’s tenacious on the glass and is known as a great low-post defender. In short, he is maybe the most complete big man (standing at least 6’7) in the PBA. Heck, if he were maybe a few inches taller, we might not even need Douthit.

His season averages so far: 15.4ppg, 8.9rpg, 2.9apg, 1.2bpg, and 52.1 FG%.

Why he is a good fit for Gilas:
Thoss would be the perfect compliment to Marcus Douthit mainly because there wouldn’t be a big drop in skill level when he spells the naturalized center. The Alaska slotman can give 10-15 solid back-up minutes in this regard, with coach Chot Reyes having to make minimal adjustments, especially on offense. Thoss might not be as tall as June Mar Fajardo or Greg Slaughter, but he’s definitely quicker than both, so his mobility means Gilas can further maximize one of its main strengths — speed.

Thoss can use his mobility to his advantage.
(image from Abante Tonite and

Potential match-ups:
FIBA-Asia: Tseng Wen-Ting (TPE), Kosuke Takeuchi (JPN), Duncan Reid (HKG)
FIBA World Cup: Joaquim Gomes (ANG), Assem Marei (EGY), Jack Michael Martinez (DOM)

Thoss’s size limits the range of international centers he can effectively guard, but his agility means he can be a great match-up against fellow “undersized” bigs. Against face-up guys like Tseng Wen-Ting, Kosuke Takeuchi, and Assem Marei, Thoss can prove to be a headache. He’s big enough and agile enough to shadow these guys, and he can give them fits on defense, too. I don’t see someone like Thoss dropping double-doubles in the FIBA game, but he definitely has the makings of a versatile back-up.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at someone who has never played for the Philippine team - Jay Washington.

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4 Comment

Admin Enzo, since jay wash hasn't played a single minute of any FIBA sanctioned events I guess he cannot wear the national colors because he is covered by the eligibility rule of passport. please correct me if im wrong.

further to my input I would also like to know will the likes of - Sol Mercado (played for jones cup) , Cliff Hodge & Chris Ellis (played for SEA games) Justin Melton (HKG tournament) - Can they ever play on fiba events?


Jay was born in Zambales and Melton in Pampanga, so there shouldn't be any problems with them, but the others you mentioned malabo. :(


that's sad news.. anyway, we will wait for your article about jwash. thanks for your quick reply


Thoss may be good enough. But who will coach Chot replace to accommodate him? Junmar Fajardo?