THE Philippines begins its campaign in the 11th Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship on Monday against Indonesia at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
The Gilas cadet squad takes on the Indonesians in the 6 p.m. match
National coach Tab Baldwin admitted having little knowledge about their rivals in the event serving as a qualifier for the 2015 Fiba-Asia Championship, but is confident they can adjust as the tournament goes on.
“We don’t know much about them,” Baldwin said. “Hopefully, we get more information about them as we get closer.”
“But certainly, after Indonesia, we’ll have a chance to evaluate each of them before playing them. That will be another stage of their development — how they take the scouting reports and apply it to the game,” said Baldwin.
But with the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals going to a Game Seven, it will be assistant coach Nasch Racela who will be handling the Gilas Cadets in the first few Seaba games.
Naturalized player Marcus Douthit leads the squad featuring Gilas cadets Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, Troy Rosario, Scottie Thompson, Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Norbert Torres, Almond Vosotros, Glenn Khobuntin, Jiovani Jalalon, and Russel Escoto.
The American-New Zealander isn’t satisfied with the number of training sessions and matches together, but said he is pleased with the work the players have done for flag and country.
“We only had 24 practices and two tune-up games, which is nothing. But it has taken a lot of sacrifices, effort, and submission. They had to give themselves to the national team. They’ve done a phenomenal job and I think because of that, they learned very quickly,” said Baldwin.
“The coaching staff has also done a wonderful job and we’ve seen the fruits of their labor. Now, it’s a matter of putting together what we did in practices and win games,” Baldwin added.
The six teams will play a round-robin tournament. The country with the best record wins the title and will be joined by the two runners-up in the Fiba-Asia joust.