Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!

FIl-Aussie teen in PH “Gilas” National basketball team

By Violi Calvert – Sixteen year old Jolzyne Impreso of Stanhope Gardens in Sydney’s western area, recently made history in basketball.  She is the first Fil-Aus from New South Wales to be placed on the FIBA map.  She was selected to be amongst the best female talent around the world, to be part of the Gilas pool of basketball players to compete in future tournaments for the Women’s National Basketball team for the Philippines.

Jolzyne Impresso (middle) and coaches

The Year 10 student at St John XXIII Catholic College was identified by Fil-Am Nation Select Basketball FILAM/AU which identifies talent through the work of Cris Gopez for the women’s program. Jolzyne, who plays as Point Guard, flew to the Philippines and attended trials on 5 October 2022, for the 3×3 national team training with the Gilas players.  This was undertaken over a few days as part of the team identification program with coach Patrick Aquino, head coach for the women’s program. During her visit she also met Coach Mau Belen the first female coach appointed in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Men’s League. 

When asked what she wants to achieve in her basketball journey and what does being in Gilas means to her, Jolzyne said: 

“To become the best version of myself every day and achieve my goal to play for a tournament to represent the Philippines.

Now that I am a part of Gilas, it is such an honour and I’m truly grateful to have the chance to showcase my talent. “

What about plans to go back to the Philippines?

“I attended the 3×3 trial to prove I am good enough and that I have what it takes to be listed on the FIBA map amongst the other Gilas players. I would definitely go back to the Philippines to play for the National team. I did get offers to study but I’m only 16 and after speaking with coach Mau there are other options to what I can pursue, until then it can wait until I have to make the decision if I want to do uni/college here in the Philippines.” 

Jolzyne’s basketball journey started from as young as 8 years old, playing at representative level for Hills Basketball. She was introduced to basketball from a very young age as her whole family is involved in the sport.  Her mother, Marinette plays and her father Jolly have been one of the pioneers in organising local basketball training and competitions, with Jolly also doing referee. 

It is not only her who has basketball in her genes.  Her older brother Trixtan (24yo) continues to play basketball at local competition; whilst her other younger brother Mjaye (10yo) and Tsqelle (9yo) play for Hills Hornets as representative level.

Mjaye was awarded MVP 2022 U12 Boys Hills Hornets for the season, whilst Tsqelle first year at this level making the squad when she attended trials at 8 years old.

These days, Jolzyne continues to support future female talent with her work in coaching with the Royals Basketball Sports Club, where Coach Roger Mantua is guiding her fitness and training.