No "overkill" insists MVP in Gilas Pilipinas lineup for SEABA

Paul Lintag on May 16, 2017 11:32 PM
"So much is at stake eh kaya we should really send the best team we could get." --- MVP on the "SEABA 12" version of Gilas Pilipinas.

Manila, Philippines --- Despite Thailand proving itself to be a worthy challenger to Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 SEABA Championships, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan had full confidence that the national team would not suffer a monumental upset of epic proportions.

As the Thais engaged Gilas in a close first quarter Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum here, the Philippines was only up by four at the end of the opening 10 minutes, there was no doubt in MVP's mind that the home team would pull through and keep its march towards the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup in the right direction.

However, despite the overwhelming confidence, Gilas Pilipinas' chief patron says there are still some valuable lessons to be learned in Thailand's gallant stand.

"I wasn't afraid of the team losing," Pangilinan said as the Philippines rolled to a 55-point win, its fourth straight in the regional showcase. "Pero ang dapat na lesson dun en nagi-improve ang Thailand. One quarter medyo dikit, four points lang yun."

"Syempre malabo na tayo [matalo] because we're the better team. But, in succeeding years, hindi mangyayari yun, they'll be tougher, they'll be bigger, they'll be better. We have to be ready for that as well," he added, obviously looking ahead at future challenges Gilas is for sure to encounter in international play even within the ASEAN region alone.

If for some reason it still persists, it's time to finally shut down the talk about "overkill" in the 2017 SEABA Championships.

With so many things at stake for the Philippines in this tournament, it was only right for Gilas Pilipinas to send its best team to compete.

"Kasi pag natalo man tayo dito sa SEABA, napakalaking pinsala," MVP said. "Di tayo makakalaro sa FIBA Asia, which will imperil our chances of qualifying for the Olympics."

"The winner of SEABA will also be one of the 16 teams in the qualifying tournament for the World Cup in China in 2019. So much is at stake eh kaya we should really send the best team we could get," he added.

After taking care of Thailand, it appears the next real challenge for Gilas Pilipinas is a matchup against Indonesia on Thursday.

And with both teams currently undefeated at 4-0, that final game will most likely have the SEABA title at stake.

MVP is looking forward to it.

"It will be a good game. Doon mababanat yung team," Pangilinan said of the upcoming Indonesia game.

"Again, maybe the same lesson with Thailand, certain countries in Asia are in ascend. We can't just pretend na we will continue our lead," he added, making sure teh national team is always on its toes when it comes to its own improvement.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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