THE Philippines is sending players from Alab Pilipinas to compete in next month’s 11th Merlion Cup, a regional event organized by the Basketball Association of Singapore.
The Merlion Cup is an invitational basketball tournament organized by the Basketball Association of Singapore that features six of the best basketball clubs across the region. It is set for Sept. 20 to 24 at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
The Merlion Cup 2017 is expected to be more intense with stronger teams expected to deliver better competition.
Making their Merlion Cup debuts are Australia’s champions, the Adelaide 36ers, Taiwan SBL runners-up, the Yulon Luxen Dinos, KBL runners-up, the Jeonju KCC Egis, and Philippine’s Asean Basketball League, the Alab Pilipinas. They will be joined by the hosts, the Singapore Slingers and last year’s champions, the Shanghai Sharks.
With the Merlion Cup, BAS aims to develop the local basketball scene and engage with the public to increase participation in and support for the sport.
Some time before the tournament, BAS will hold an exhibition at which outreach activities with the public will be staged, such as basketball clinics and coaching workshops, as well as meet-and-greet sessions with international players.
For more details and ticket information, visit the BAS website at merlioncup.bas.org.sg.
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What are the chances of Alab Pilipinas in this year’s Merlion Cup?
When the team went up against the Singapore Slingers last April in the ABL semi-finals in a game held at the Baliwag Star Arena in Bulacan, they lost 82-64 to the Slingers.
Kiefer Ravena was brought into the game a bit too late although he contributed 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, with Lo Domingo shooting 18. However, the team keenly felt the absence of Ray Parks Jr. who was sidelined because of injuries.
Alab Pilipinas will be hungry for a victory and hopefully will play better this time around.
In last year’s Merlion Cup, Mighty Sports represented the Philippines and managed to grab silver for second place. Ravena was also part of the 2016 team.
Here’s the current roster of the Alab Pilipinas team: Bobby Ray Parks Jr. (6’4’), Paulo Hubalde (6’0”), Val Acuña (6’3”), JR Cawaling (6’3”), Robby Celiz (6’4”), Jeric Fortuna (5’8”), Hans Thiele (6’5”), Anthony Gavieres (6’4”), Jovet Mendoza (6’4”), Jens Knuttle (5’11”), Kiefer Ravena (6’0”), and imports Igee King (6’1”), Sampsom Carter (6’8”), and James Hughes (6’11”). Mac Cuan is head coach, assisted by Japs Cuan and Paolo Rivero.
At the moment I haven’t seen an announcement of who’s going to be playing in the Merlion, but we wish good luck to all the team members as they face the best of the region next month.
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