Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio said that the Philippines should opt for the overkill when it takes on challengers in the upcoming Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship in April.
“Overkill, yes that’s fine. We have to show our Southeast Asian neighbors that we are untouchable here in our region. Only the SEABA champion is allowed to go to the FIBA Asia. If we don’t win the SEABA title, it’s goodbye to us,” Antonio told The Manila Times on Wednesday during phone interview.
Gilas Pilipinas needs to bag the SEABA Championship crown in order to qualify for this year’s FIBA Asia Championship slated on August 17 to 27 in Lebanon.
“Historically, we are the strongest team in SEABA but we cannot be complacent so we have to prepare hard and send our best team there. I believe we are the target of our Southeast Asian neighbors, Antonio said.”
The Philippines defeated most of their Southeast Asian neighbors via huge margin in previous SEABA tournaments.
But Thailand and Indonesia have improved a lot that’s why Gilas should be cautious, according to Antonio.
The hosting right of the SEABA meet scheduled on April 23 to 30, was awarded to the Philippines but the venue is yet to be determined. “We are still discussing the possible venue if it’s going to be held here in Manila or outside,” added Antonio.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes announced on Sunday the inclusion to the national pool of Calvin Abueva of Alaska, Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra, Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine, Jayson Castro of Talk ‘N Text, Art Dela Cruz of Blackwater, June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer, Jonathan Grey of Meralco, Bradwyn Guinto of Northern Luzon Expressway, Paul Lee of Star Hotshots, LA Revilla of Mahindra, Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort and Norbert Torres of Phoenix Petroleum.