The recent elimination of Gilas Pilipinas from title contention in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup will be used as added motivation by the country’s younger version of national team players who is set to see action in the SEA Games.
With no other choice but to form two separate national teams due to the overlapping schedule of 2 tournaments, the Samanang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will field a team composed mostly of cadets to represent the country in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Gilas guard Kiever Ravera, a veteran of the SEA Games basketball competition having been part of the gold medal-winning teams for three straight years and going for a record fourth, shared that the loss of their ‘big brothers’ have spurred them to push harder for the title to somehow soften the impact brought about by that devastating quarterfinal loss to the Koreans.
“Kailangan naming isa-puso na kailangan naming ibawi yung mga kuya namin,” Ravena said in a press briefing of the Chooks To Go sponsored national team scheduled to depart for Malaysia today.
The country will be gunning for its 18th gold medal, and 12th straight since losing to the Malaysians in the 1989 staging of the SEA Games. – Alvin Borromeo