Gilas cadets ready to buckle down to work upon arrival in KL ahead of SEAG title defense
Kiefer Ravena poses for photos upon arrival at the Philippine secretariat. Jerome Ascano

KUALA LUMPUR - Gilas Pilipinas arrived on Friday night ready to buckle down to work as it puts the finishing touches to its preparation for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.

The men's national basketball team formally joined the Philippine delegation before 9 p.m. following a four-hour flight from Manila just in time for the opening ceremony on Saturday.

Head coach Jong Uichico, however, said he doesn't plan to give the Philippine team a rest on Saturday as they prepare for Thailand in their opening match on Sunday at the MABA Stadium.

"We are trying to check our practice schedule," said Uichico after the team checked in at the Philippine secretariat at the Sunway Putra Hotel here.

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The Gilas cadets didn't have the most ideal preparation for the SEA Games title defense, but Uichico expects nothing less than the best from the team.

"We had nine days so we had probably seven practices," said Uichico. "There is always pressure."

Bobby Ray Parks looks forward to the competition and remains confident the team has what it takes to win the gold despite the short preparation.

"Confident naman ako sa team. 'Yung little time na binigay sa amin to prepare, we made the most out of it. We worked hard. For sure, 'yun ang ibibigay namin on Sunday night. More of keeping our feet up para makapagpahinga bukas," Parks said.

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