Thailand coach explains why Thai-American Tyler Lamb, Morgan failed to make Seaba trip
Thailand players serenade the crowd during the welcome dinner for participants in the Seaba championships on Thursday night at the Crowne Hotel. Jerome Ascano

TALK about lightning striking twice for Thailand.

In as much as the Thais wanted to bring in Thai-Ams Tyler Lamb and Moses Morgan to reinforce the team in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship, the two highly-touted players had to go back to the U.S. as soon as possible.

Reason: Both of them are set to be new dads soon.

"Moses is expecting a baby, Tyler is expecting a baby and they needed to go home after the season to be with their wives," admitted Thailand's British coach Tim Lewis on Thursday during the welcome dinner for Seaba delegates held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

"We love to have those guys involved. Unfortunately, it just wasn't possible this time around."

Lewis knows the absence of the two has lessened the chances of the Thais to give defending champion Gilas Pilipinas a fight for its money.

But as they say, the ball is round.

"I like our team. We're young, we're inexperienced a little bit, but they play hard. And they wanna learn, and they're really fun to coach with," Lewis said.

"We're positive about everything and we've seen improvement over the last few years, although we still have a long way to go, though."

The British coach, a Manila visitor several times now, again stressed the obvious of how the host country is fancied to top the seven-team field.

"Obivously the Philippine has come here with the strong team (because) they have to qualify out of this to have a chance to get to the world championship. That's understandable," he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos