The tournament will begin on Friday with the Philippine squad facing opponents who have beefed up their roster.
According to reports, Thailand men’s team has a naturalized player in Tra Holder, who had experience in the G League for the Westchester Knicks. Listed at 6-foot-1, he carries the name Antonio Price Sunthornczyk in the team which has Asean Basketball League veterans Moses Morgan and Freddie Lish.
Indonesia will have naturalized player Jamarr Johnson, and Cambodia has also recruited players with American descent for their SEA Games bid.
The women’s side is no different as Vietnam has recruited the Truong sisters Kayleigh and Kaylynne, who played Division I basketball with Gonzaga. The two already saw action for Vietnam in the ABL 3x3 tournament held in Bali last April.
Incidentally, the Philippine men’s team will go up against Thailand at 2 p.m. (3 p.m. Manila time), while the women’s squad faces Cambodia at 12 noon.
"This is a totally different situation now. We are grateful to be given the opportunity to serve and represent the country. We are thankful to the PBA 3x3 and SBP for supporting us in this opportunity," said Phoenix assistant coach Willie Wilson, who supervised the training of the team.
The Philippines parades a new national men's squad .
Brandon Rosser, Marvin Hayes, Jorey Napoles, and Reymar Caduyac, members of the PBA 3x3 First Conference champion Limitless App, will form the Gilas Men’s team as Janine Pontejos, Afril Bernardino, Clare Castro, and Angelica Surada comprise the women's squad.
All four in the men's square are newcomers in the SEA Games with CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Chris Newsome, and Jason Perkins representing the country in 2019.
Surada is the newcomer in the women’s side with Jack Animam not in the team.
"Maganda 'yung preparation namin. Nakapag-bubble pa kami. They are ready to defend the crown. About naman sa other teams, talagang nag-prepare especially Vietnam. I think they have two American players na Vietnamese na naglaro sa Gonzaga. I expect stiff competition from them. Hindi mo ma-ano sa akin 'yung Thailand na silver medalist," said women's coach Pat Aquino.
"For the longest time, magkakasama na rin sila. Minor adjustment at role playing na lang ang isa't isa. Hopefully, makuha namin 'yung jive nila," said Aquino.
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