DWIGHT RAMOS Journey and Training Under Passion Sports

Written By: Zerjosh Serrano and Paul Tamayo

Everyone knows him now.

In just a span of over a year, Dwight Ramos has grown from being a virtually unknown Gilas Pilipinas prospect to one of the most popular basketball players in a nation that literally adores the sport. With a rare combination of steady demeanor and versatile skill set on the court, Dwight has captured the attention of millions of Filipino basketball fans, and also Japanese fans, since he’s now taking his talents to Japan’s B.League.

Celebration after South Korea win. Photo Credit rappler.com

Being a famous hooper in the Philippines is basically similar to being a rockstar. But who is Dwight Ramos before he became the “Dwight Ramos”? We, at Passion Sports, had the opportunity to sit down with the Gilas young star as he unravelled the journey he ventured on to get to where he is right now.

Question: How did you start playing basketball?

Dwight: “At first, my parents let me and my brother Eli try every sport there is and they let us choose which sport we love the most. After school, before our parents would get home, we will just leave our bags at home then go play basketball. Once we see our parents’ car pull over, we’ll just run inside the house and pretend we are doing homework. That’s how my brother and I fell in love with basketball — just playing in a very small basketball court.”


Q: You were living in the United States when you were still in high school. To pursue your lofty basketball goals, you left your home town to play for another private high school. How difficult of a transition was this for you?

Dwight: “It was difficult because I had to decide on whether to stay in my hometown or go to a private school. In my first year, I made the All-Freshman Team. During my second year, we won the state championship. The way I play the game right now was shaped by those two important years — the discipline and the basics. I actually did not play in every game — I only played in some — but I learned through practice and just from playing at a high level.

Dwight playing for Walnut HS. Photo Credit InsideSoCal.com

After those two years, I transferred back to my local high school, and I was fortunate because I had a coach who really believed in me. I blossomed, and I used everything I learned. I started putting up the numbers and a lot of college offers came.”

Q: After two years playing college ball in America, you then decided to fly to the Philippines and take your talents here. What pushed you to make this life-changing decision?

Dwight: “During my first two years in college at the US, I only played in a few games. I felt like I can do more, but I just did not have the opportunity. Still, I continued practicing and I didn’t let anything bring me down.

But I still felt like I needed something new, a place where I can do more. It was perfect timing because my brother was coming out of high school and was looking for a college team to play for. We then decided to go to Ateneo together, but unfortunately the UAAP did not push through.”

Dwight now playing for Toyama Grousers in Japan. Photo Credit Manila Bulletin

Q: You first introduced yourself to the legions of Filipino basketball fans in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers when Gilas went on an undefeated 6-0 run. Can you give us an inside access on the pressure that you felt when you first donned the national team’s colors?

Dwight: “I felt the pressure in my first game against Indonesia. I needed to perform well and I tried not to make mistakes. I got more comfortable as the game went on, and it really helped that my coaches and my teammates believed in me.

The two games against South Korea were my most unforgettable moments. The game with SJ Belangel’s buzzerbeater was probably my first career win that came via a buzzerbeater. Then beating Korea the second time around made it feel so much better.”


Q: Since coming to the Philippines, you have been training with Passion Sports, a basketball camp founded by former PBA player Rob Labagala. How did Coach Rob and the Passion Sports program helped you grow as a player?

Dwight: “Mike and Matt Nieto invited me and my brother to train under Coach Rob. I did not have people to train with so I tried it out. I then discovered that Coach Rob actually played in the PBA and I saw that he really knows his stuff. Other trainers can teach you all the moves you see in TV, but Coach Rob teaches you how to play the game. He will put you in a workout that is in line with the system of your current team and coach.

For me, he is one of the best. The way he trains us is perfect in translating into a real game. I feel like I was really prepared to play because I was trained by Coach Rob.”

Dwight at Coach Rob’s Training.

Along with being a fixture in Coach Tab Baldwin’s Gilas Pilipinas program, Dwight has recently signed a contract to play for the B.League’s Toyama Grouses. It’s indeed a disappointment that he never got to wear the Ateneo jerseys in the UAAP, but Dwight’s stint in the B.League will surely bode well for his individual development and for the things that he can contribute to the Philippines’ basketball program.

Don’t be fooled by the on-court brilliance that Dwight is displaying right now — it’s a product of hardwork blended with his God-given talent. Similar with most of us, Dwight was also once overlooked and underrated. But his dedication to the sport, combined with his belief in himself, pushed him to greater heights in the world of basketball.



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