Tamayo, Abadiano complete ‘strongest’ Batang Gilas ever
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 18, 2018 08:58 PM
Batang Gilas can now boast of having five players listed at or higher than 6-foot-5
The Philippine national basketball team is nothing but positive as it heads to Argentina for the FIBA Under-17 World Cup.
“Hindi tayo pupunta dun na ‘di tayo tiwala na kaya nating manalo,” Batang Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes said in their send-off dinner on Monday in Ortigas.
The Filipinos booked a ticket to Worlds after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship.
That team featured talented tower Kai Sotto, court general Forthsky Padrigao, streaky shooter Terrence Fortea, rim protector Raven Cortez, and scoring guard RC Calimag
After that tournament, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was nothing but proud that the boys have accomplished their mission.
Now, Batang Gilas has also added heady guard Gerry Abadiano and versatile big Carl Tamayo.
That is exactly why Batang Gilas is nothing but positive even as it has been grouped with eighth-ranked host Argentina, 10th-ranked Croatia, and seventh-ranked France. “This is the strongest U17 team that the country has produced. We’re very excited kasi ‘di na maliit ang Pilipinas,” Ronald Mascarinas, president of team backer Chooks-to-Go shared.
Indeed, the country, ranked 34th in the world, now boasts of five players listed at or higher than 6-foot-5.
Of course, fronting the effort is UAAP champion and Finals MVP Sotto.
And for him, there is no doubt that the Philippines could go far in the Worlds. “Naniniwala ako sa team ko na kahit anong mangyari, nasa likod ko sila. Ako rin, lagi akong nandito para sa kanila,” he said.
Rounding out Batang Gilas are Yukien Andrada, King Balaga, Kyle Bautista, Geo Chiu, Mac Guadana, Rafael Go, and Joshua Lazaro. They will be coached by UAAP Juniors champion coach Mike Oliver alongside Reyes and Gilbert Lao.
They fly to Argentina on Thursday for the tournament running from June 30 to July 8.
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