Gilas cadets kick off title defense vs tough Thais
KUALA LUMPUR — The loss Gilas Pilipinas suffered in Lebanon that was heard in the Philippines has reverberated all the way in Malaysia.
Kiefer Ravena, team captain of Gilas’ B team that will play in the Southeast Asian Games here, was quoted back in Manila saying: “We will avenge your defeat.”
The shifty, outspoken point guard was referring to the quarterfinal defeat the Philippines sustained at the hands of Korea, which is becoming an alarming tradition.
Ravena and the rest of the Gilas team like fellow A-listers Kobe Paras, Kevin Ferrer and Bobby Ray Parks will vie for a 26th basketball title, starting with a featured game against Thailand on Sunday at MABA Stadium here.
Game time is 9:30 p.m.
Ravena’s pronouncement stands in solid foundation.
Easily the most popular squad in Team Philippines — aside from the women’s volleyball team — the presently known as Gilas has won every single SEAG title except in 1989 when PH lost to Malaysia.
They will be propped up here by naturalized player Christian Standhardinger, who arrived early Saturday from Lebanon via Manila.
In 2005 Manila, basketball wasn’t played because the country was under suspension by Fiba. It also wasn’t held in 2009 Laos for lack of facilities.
Perlas Pilipinas, the country’s women’s basketball squad, also debuts against Singapore at 7:15 p.m.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.