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    PH 3x3 team's stunning fall serves as warning for Gilas ahead of debut

    May 15, 2022
    Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena in Gilas practice ahead of its SEA Games debut.
    Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena in Gilas practice ahead of its SEA Games debut.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    HANOI – Gilas Pilipinas practiced on the eve of the start of the 31st Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball tournament, with the mindset that the march to the gold medal will not be easy.

    The results of the just-concluded 3x3 basketball competitions drove home that point.

    The Philippine 3x3 team was sent crashing in spectacular fashion by Thailand in the 3x3 semifinals to the shock of fans back home, before winning the gold with a 19-17 win over Vietnam. Gilas 3x3 settled for the bronze medal.

    [See Gilas 3x3 sent crashing out of gold-medal race by Thailand]

    Incidentally, Thailand will be facing Gilas to start the men’s basketball competition on Monday at 3 p.m. (4 p.m. Manila time), with the same 3x3 players, also joining the squad in the five-a-side game.

    Aside from Moses Morgan and Fred Lish, Thailand also has naturalized player Tra Holder, who once played for the Westchester Knicks in the G League. Holder carried the name Antonio Price Soonthornchote in the 3x3.

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    Gilas Pilipinas practice, Kiefer Ravena

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    “The kind of opposition that we have here is serious. They are a serious threat,” said Reyes following practice on Sunday. “We already saw what happened in the 3x3. Those are the guys. We know their level and that’s why it’s very important that we will be able to beat that challenge.”

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    Gilas arrived early Saturday morning for the SEA Games, and Reyes said the immediate concern is still on how everyone can be integrated into the system, mentioning that Kiefer Ravena and Thirdy Ravena only arrived from Japan days before the team left for Hanoi. Matthew Wright also got back recently from the US.

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      “Any coach naman will always say that we hope we could have had more time especially here because the Ravena brothers joined us only on Wednesday. We left the country on Friday. Same thing with Matthew Wright coming from the States,” Reyes said.

      “That’s our biggest concern. How quickly we can assimilate everyone to be able to do the things that we want to do,” said Reyes.

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      Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena in Gilas practice ahead of its SEA Games debut.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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