Gilas cadets need to be at their best to beat Thais in Seaba Cup title game, says Racela
The Gilas cadets square off with Thailand for the 2016 Seaba Stankovic Cup championship, two days after beating the host by just a point in the elimination round. Jerome Ascano

THE Philippines battles Thailand on Saturday for the championship in the 2016 Seaba Stankovic Cup, expecting a tough battle before a hostile crowd at the Stadium 29 in Bangkok.

Game time is at 4 p.m. Manila time with the match to be streamed live on the Mono Upstream2 YouTube channel.

The Gilas cadets play the Thais in a rematch of Thursday’s thrilling game where the Nationals won by only a point, 66-65, that barely kept their unbeaten slate in the elimination round.

Mike Tolomia and Kevin Ferrer saved the Gilas cadets from humiliation when they hit critical three-pointers late to turn the game around after the Thais led, 63-60, with less than two minutes left.

As they face off agai,n this time for the crown, Gilas cadets coach Nash Racela said they need to play their best against a Thailand team that is playing like a well-oiled machine.

“Thailand is really well prepared for the tournament. It showed in the game how comfortable they are playing with each other. They're well-disciplined and well-coached. It will require our best to beat them in the finals,” said Racela.

A major concern that the cadets should address is their outside shooting after the Nationals shot a horrific 3-of-37 from three-point range.

“It was a combination of us missing our open looks and their (Thailand) scrambling defense. They have long perimeter players,” Racela said.

Expected to lead the way for Thailand is Chitchai Ananti, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds including the three-point shot from halfcourt that nearly went in during the final seconds of the game.

Troy Rosario and Mac Belo were in charge for Gilas cadets against Thailand but they were the only double-digit scorers for the Philippines in the game.

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