SEA Games: “Serious” Gilas all out to win gold

Paul Lintag on Nov 28, 2019 03:27 PM
SEA Games: “Serious” Gilas all out to win gold
“I really like that we don’t take this stuff lightly. We’re trying to get there with our best squad.” — Christian Standhardinger. (Photo by Josh Albelda)

What many people call as overkill, Gilas forward Christian Standhardinger says that the Philippines fielding a loaded team in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games means that the national team is taking this serious.

While the SEA Games may not be as high profile as other basketball tournaments, Gilas losing here — and this year in Manila no less — will be devastating.

The Philippines has won 17 of the last 19 gold medals in men’s SEA Games basketball, including the last 12 straight.

The last time the country didn’t win a gold medal was 30 years ago in 1989 in Kuala Lumpur.

“The other [Southeast] Asian teams get better, that’s very obvious,” Standhardinger said as he sizes up this year’s challengers led by Indonesia.

“I really like that we don’t take this stuff lightly. We’re trying to get there with our best squad,” he added.

Coached by Tim Cone, the Gilas team is made up of LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguiar, and Stanley Pringle of Ginebra, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross of San Miguel, Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy of TNT, Vic Manuel of Alaska, Christian Standhardinger of Northport, Matthew Wright of Phoenix, and Kiefer Ravena of NLEX.

That’s the original lineup but changes will be made as Pogoy is now out due to a back injury.

Still, Gilas’ preparations continue and the national team will start twice-a-day practices Friday. The team resumed training Thursday as the opening round of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs wrapped up.

“Obviously there are injuries, but I like that we don’t take it lighlty and we’re all out in this,” Standhardinger said.

Gilas will open its SEA Games title defense on Dec. 4 against Singapore at the MOA Arena.

 

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