Coach: Gilas must step up
RAISING their game to a higher level will be a challenge that the Batang Gilas Pilipinas national under-16 boys basketball team will have to take.
That’s because their rivals in the coming 2017 SEABA Under-16 Championship are levelling up in their games as well.
National coach Michael Oliver said this with less than a week to go before they plunge into action on May 14.
“We really have to go higher in the level of our game and maintain our competitiveness,” said Oliver during Tuesday’s weekly PSA Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
Oliver said that based on scouting reports, many teams joining are fielding in players who have foreign blood in them.
Thailand, he added is an example, because chances are, they may have a Thai-American cager in their roster.
Oliver talked about the competitiveness of the field after revealing the final lineup of Batang Gilas, which included highly-touted 6’11” center Kai Sotto.
The son of former PBA big man Ervin Sotto, Kai made the final cut with La Salle Zobel’s Raven Cortez, Rence Keith Padrigao of Adamson and Xavier School’s Miguel Tan.
Then, there’s Migs Pascual and RC Calimag of San Beda, Terrence Fortea of National University, Mclaude Guadana of Lyceum, Rafael Go of Chiang Kai Shek College and Shaun Chiu of PACE.
Also listed are John Bismarck Lina of University of Santo Tomas and San Beda’s Joshua Lazaro.
There are five squads entered and are seeking three qualifying slots to the FIBA Asia Under 16 qualifiers this October.
The Philippines is set to meet Singapore at 12 noon in their first game at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.