The young Philippine national men’s basketball team arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday night for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games where it aims to continue the country’s dominance in the sport.
Gilas Pilipinas opens its campaign against Thailand, tipped as the Filipinos’ fiercest rival in the games, on Sunday at the MABA Stadium.
The Philippines owns 16 basketball gold medals, and has won the title in every SEA Games event since 1991.
While the team is missing top PBA stars who are still seeing action in the national team’s campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon, the Gilas Pilipinas squad in the SEA Games isn’t lacking in firepower.
The team will be led by PBA players Troy Rosario, Baser Amer, Mike Tolomia, Kevin Ferrer and Von Pessumal.
They will be joined by Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks, Kobe Paras, Raymar Jose, Almond Vosotros and Christian Standhardinger who came from the senior Gilas’ stint in Lebanon.
Mac Belo is also with the team and while he isn’t on the lineup, coach Jong Uichico is hoping to have him on the roster to replace Carl Bryan Cruz.