THE Philippine team will rely heavily on its talent more than chemistry when it plunges into action in the Seaba Under-18 Championship in Sabah, Malaysia.
Although comprised mostly of the best players from high school and college, national youth head coach Jamike Jarin admitted the nationals are still working on their chemistry as they aim for one of two slots to the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship in August.
“We are going to Malaysia and rely on our talent,” said Jarin. “Chemistry, we try to get there, and hopefully we already have it if we qualify in the Fiba-Asia.”
Thirdy Ravena, Aaron Black, and Joshua Caracut lead the 12-man team that left Saturday for Malaysia for the four-nation tournament kicking off off on Monday.
Also in the lineup are Henri Asilum, Dawn Ochea, Paul Desiderio, Ranbill Tongco, Dave Yu, Richard Escoto, Jollo Go, Mark Dyke, and Leonard Santillan.
The youth team opens its campaign with a game against Indonesia on Monday. The Filipinos face host country Malaysia the following day, before ending the round-robin tournament against Singapore on Wednesday.
Jarin, however, is guarding against complacency.
“I never promise anything except that we are going to be competitive,” said Jarin, whose team used the Filoil preseason tournament as a buildup for the Seaba championship.