After their Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) championship triumph, the Gilas Cadets are ready to take on foes in the 28th Southeast Asian Games, according to head coach Tab Baldwin.
He said that he does not want his players to take their opponents lightly but reiterated their hard work in practice will be a big boost in their bid to bring home the gold.
The young national basketball team, is composed mostly of college standouts, is clustered in Group A together with Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor-Leste.
Eleven players from different National Collegiate Athletic Association and University Athletic Association of the Philippines schools, which includes Kiefer Ravena, Baser Amer, Almond Vosotros, Jiovani Jalalon, Glen Khobuntin, Earl Thompson, Norbert Torres, Mark Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Paolo Rivero and Troy Rosario, made the cut to be part of Baldwin’s team.
Also, naturalized center Marcus Douthit was tapped to reinforce the frontline.
“The only thing that is relevant is that we play well and if we play well, I believe that we have a great chance of winning each game,” Baldwin told The Manila Times.
The new Gilas coach added he expects the teams of host nation Singapore and Malaysia to be one of their toughest foes in the tournament.
Baldwin said that he has full confidence with the players he selected.
“We have a strong roster from top to bottom. In a lot of games during the SEABA, the players who came off the bench were just as strong as the players who started,” he added.