Jarin believes Batang Gilas can go all the way to FIBA Worlds

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 18, 2017 08:28 PM
Jarin believes Batang Gilas can go to FIBA Worlds
FUTURE. Former national youth team coach Jamike Jarin believes Batang Gilas has the perfect mix of size, speed, and smarts to compete internationally.

Yet again, Batang Gilas are at the top of the SEABA Under-16 Championship.

Even before they finished off their fourth straight sweep of the regional tournament, however, the Philippine national youth team already had its fair share of believers.

One of those just so happens to be a former Batang Gilas coach in Jamike Jarin. “I’m just happy for coach Mike Oliver and (team manager) Andrew Teh for forming the team of the future. This Batang Gilas team has so much potential,” he expressed.

Three years before taking his new post as head coach of National University, Jarin was the mentor of a Batang Gilas squad featuring the likes of Paul Desiderio, Jolo Mendoza, and Mike and Matt Nieto.

That team valiantly fought in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, but was left winless in three games.

With the current Batang Gilas fronted by court general Forthsky Padrigao and towering teen Kai Sotto, however, Jarin sees them faring much better. As he put it, “This is a well-balanced group of young men. They have the size, speed, and smarts to really compete in the World Championships.”

He then continued, “Last time we went to the worlds, we didn’t have size, we only had speed and smarts. So I truly believe that this team will make it again.”

Aside from five-foot-10 pointman Padrigao and six-foot-11 Sotto, the Philippines also has on its roster six-foot-one wingman RC Calimag and five-foot-10 triple-double threat Mclaude Guadana.

Champions in the SEABA U16 once more, they will now move on to the FIBA Asia U16 scheduled for later in the year.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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