The Philippine Under-18 team is not letting its guard down ahead of their stint in the 2012 SEABA Under-18 Championships in Singapore next week.
The Nationals are favorites in the June 26-30 tournament against Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos and host Singapore, but head coach Olsen Racela is guarding against complacency.
“Malaki ang inimprove ng mga teams kaya hindi kami puwedeng mag-relax,” said Racela, who admitted that he only has very little knowledge of the opposition.
The SEABA champion will advance to the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship set in Mongolia on August 17 to 26.
The youth team breezed through the SEABA tournament last year and finished fourth in the Fiba-Asia tilt in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
Indonesia, coached by Filipino Nat Canson, has tall players, according to Racela. Singapore also has a center who is in the lineup of the Singapore Slingers in the Asean Basketball League.
“Singapore also has a homecourt advantage so we also can’t discount that,” Racela said.
The SEABA team for the Singapore event is composed of Hubert Cani, JJ Alejandro, Michael Jay Javelosa, Isaac Go, Paolo Rivero, Remy Nambatac, Mark Olayon, Ronnie De Leon, Kyle Suarez, Mario Bonleon and Kent Lao.