THIS year’s Sinag Pilipinas lineup only has naturalized center Marcus Douthit as its legitimate big man, but veteran amateur gunner Garvo Lanete is confident that they would extend the country’s basketball reign in the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
The national squad, headed by coach Jong Uichico, left on Wednesday morning aboard Singapore Airlines for Myanmar’s capital city Naypyidaw as the Filipinos look to acclimatize early as well as give the players the much-needed rest after a cramped one-month of preparation.
Gilas had a total of six tune up matches during its brief one-month buildup, playing three games against select PBA D-League teams, and another three games against Ateneo and reigning UAAP men’s cage champion La Salle.
“Mas marami po kaming shooters ngayon kaysa dati saka ilan din po sa amin ang bumalik gaya ni Kiefer (Ravena), Jake (Pascual) saka Ray Parks,” Lanete told Spin.ph, just before the team left the country for
With the 6-foot-11 Douthit as the team’s only big man, Lanete said Uichico wanted them to be an aggressive team that would apply pressure defense a lot, forcing turnovers on their opponents in the hope of producing points in transition.
“Priority talaga namin is yung defense namin. Meron din naman kaming dribble-drive offense saka marami rin kaming shooters. Saka tatakbo talaga kami,” added the former San Beda Red Lion star.
Sinag Pilipinas opens its title-retention bid against Singapore on Dec. 9 followed by lowly Cambodia on Dec. 10. The Filipinos take a day off on the 11th before resuming their campaign against host Myanmar on December 12, the 2011 SEA Games basketball runner-up Thailand (13th), Indonesia (14th) and Malaysia (15th).