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Gilas Bares Roster For SEA Games - Jun 28, 2017

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The FIBA Asia Cup will be held from August 8-20 in Lebanon, and this runs in conflict with the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which will happen on August 19-30. The overlap in schedule may not be an issue for majority of the Southeast Asian countries, but for the Philippines, the region's lone representative to Asia's premiere basketball tournament, it means finding ways to divide its resources but still ensuring it puts up strong teams for both competitions.

For the FIBA Asia Cup, the Philippine coaching staff has deemed it fit to send the Gilas team which dominated SEABA by an average winning margin of 58.6 points. For the SEA Games, the Philippines will be represented by players from the Gilas Cadet pool plus a number of late recent call-ups. The 12 players chosen are 6'5 Carl Bryan Cruz, 6'0 Mike Tolomia, 5'10 Almond Vosotros, 6'4 Kevin Ferrer, 6'2 Von Pessumal, 6'5 Raymar Jose, 5'11 Baser Amer, 6'0 Kiefer Ravena, 6'4 Bobby Ray Parks, 6'7 Kobe Paras, 6'8 Christian Standhardinger, and 6'7 Troy Rosario.

A closer look at the line-up will reveal that this is a very young Philippine team, with only Vosotros and Fil-German Standhardinger who are above 25. The average age of the entire team is 24 years old. But let not the team's youth fool you, because this team is built to win the SEA Games gold, something the Philippines has done 17 out of the 18 times basketball has been played in the SEA Games.

Southeast Asian countries have been improving over the last couple of years, and this is something that is not lost on the Gilas coaching staff. They recognize the threat posed by Indonesia, which will be bannered by naturalized player Jamarr Johnson, Arki Wisnu, and wily veteran Mario Wuysang, Singapore which has been toughened by the Asean Basketball League and is led by Wei Long Wong and Delvin Goh, Malaysia which has been learning the Philippine brand of basketball thru its participation in the PBA D-League, and Thailand which could feature some outstanding Thai-Americans like Moses Morgan, Tyler Lamb, and Freddie Goldstein. Hence, the Gilas coaching staff has formed a team that has not just the talent but also the experience to compete against and match the firepower of other Southeast Asian countries.

Troy Rosario will provide the leadership for the Gilas SEA Games squad. At only 25, Rosario is already a seasoned international campaigner. He was the anchor of and the only active PBA player in the Philippine team which won the 2016 SEABA Cup. He has played in the 2015 SEA Games and 2015 SEABA. He has also been part of the senior men's team which played in the 2015 Jones Cup, the 2016 FIBA Olympic qualifier, and 2017 SEABA. Another player who will provide stability will be Baser Amer, who on his second season as a pro with the Meralco Bolts, has shown remarkable improvement and is proving to be one of the top young point guards today in the PBA.

Tasked to man the slot for the Philippines and go up against the likes of Jamarr Johnson and Delvin Goh is Standhardinger, who plays professionally for SC Rasta Vechta in the German ProA and has played in the Bundesliga. Standhardinger played US NCAA Division 1 college ball for Nebraska and University of Hawaii. Another player with US NCAA experience is Paras, who at 19 years old will be the youngest in the Gilas line-up. Paras spent his rookie season with Creighton and will be redshirting this season for Cal State Northridge before resuming his US NCAA Division 1 collegiate basketball career next year.

Parks and Ravena, both proven offensive juggernauts, could turn out to be the 1-2 scoring punch for this Gilas team, and other Southeast Asian teams will be hard-pressed to design defensive schemes to slow these two down. Ravena, who is seeking his 4th SEA Games gold which will make him the most bemedalled Filipino cager in the biennial meet's history, spent last season as a development player for the NBA D-League team the Texas Legend. Parks was a mainstay of the Texas Legend in the 2015-2016 season of the NBA D-League. He has also played for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2015 NBA Summer League. This past season, Parks played in the Asean Basketball League where he was named the local MVP.

The Gilas team to the 2017 SEA Games may not be able to dominate the way their senior counterparts did during the SEABA, but they will still enter the SEA Games basketball competition as the prohibitive favorites. The team knows that the goal is nothing less than the championship. The Gilas team will be out to prove that even without its top players, they still have enough to show that the SEA Games gold belongs to the region's undisputed basketball king and that is the Philippines.  

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Sky Is The Limit For Kai- Apr.9, 2018  (by Ariel Ian)

In a country where the average height of the male population is just around 5'4, Kai Sotto literally stands head and shoulders above everyone. Filipinos have been enamored with and awed by this giant of a boy who will only be turning 16 this May 11. But there also have been doubters who have dismissed him as nothing more than a tall kid who has nothing else to offer [read more]
16 for Under-16 Batang Gilas Named- Feb.19, 2018  (by Ariel Ian)

SEABA champions Batang Gilas will face the penultimate test as they represent the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region in the FIBA Asia Under-16 which will be held from April 2-8 in Dongguan, China. The level of competition has significantly gone up in the FIBA Asia given the entry of Australia and New Zealand. The Philippines has always been a legitimate contender in the region, but their lack of size and height has hampered their quest to advance in previous stagings of the youth... [read more]
The Gilas Wish List- Feb.5, 2018  (by Ariel Ian)

After PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial announced the lifting of the one-player-per-team limit for the Gilas pool, fans naturally became excited at the prospect of seeing other PBA stars join the national pool. Although Coach Chot Reyes has announced there will be no new players added for the second qualifying window which is less than 3 weeks away, he said they will look into expanding the pool for the succeeding qualifiers. The question now is who are the players who deserve a national... [read more]
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