Energen Pilipinas favored, says Malaysia coachBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BANTING CITY, MALAYSIA—The Energen Pilipinas Under-16 Youth Team has been tagged the favorite by no less than its first opponent and host Malaysia in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) U16 for Men here.
Although Malaysia’s Australian coach Greg Gurr expects his own wards to put up a strong fight, he yesterday noted the Philippines’ advanced level of play.
“The Philippines is always very strong in Southeast Asia and just looking at them now, I don’t think this team is going to be any different,” said Gurr.
“They’re physically very strong, fast and they play a lot of games in their country because they’re basketball smart for their age.”
The Philippines kicked off its campaign in the five-nation tournament versus Malaysia last night at the Kuala Langat Gym here.
National coach Olsen Racela said his young squad is banking on their “quickness, outside shooting and height.”
“The international game is fast-paced, so the past week, we also worked on our transition defense,” said Racela.
Starting for the Philippines are guards Henry Asilum (Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu) and Rev Diputado (San Beda), forwards Earl Murphy (Southville) and Jay Javellosa (Reedley) and center Gelo Vito (La Salle Green Hills)