The Gilas Pilipinas’ boys team is getting ready for the 2023 SEABA Under-16 Championship from July 17 to 19 in Indonesia.
Eighteen prospects, including four newcomers Elijah Williams, Paul Diao, Edryn Morales and CJ Amos have been assembled at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna for a training game.
They will be in Jakarta in time for the regional meet, which will serve as a qualifier for the 2023 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship in Qatar this September.
Coach Josh Reyes said they only had a month to get ready.
“Luckily, we started a bit early in terms of calling in players for tryouts,” said Reyes.
Making up the 18-man roster are promising Ateneo slotman Ziv Espinas, scorer Irus Chua and versatile forward Kieffer Alas.
Talented guard Jheremy Godoy is also listed.
“It’s a unique situation because when the FIBA calendar started, this is not part of it. It’s unprecedented that the memo only came out a month before the tournament,” shared Reyes.
Gilas will face Malaysia on July 17, before meeting Thailand on the July 18, and Indonesia on July 19.
Reyes said their campaign will be difficult.
“It’s hard because it’s just three games. There is no playoff and you have to win every game to qualify, “ added Reyes.