Batang Gilas coach proud to see 3 Filipinos play for Singapore nat’l team in Seaba U-16
Seeing three Filipinos make the Singaporean national youth team in the 2017 Seaba Under-16 Championship, coach Mike Oliver said it’s a validation that Filipinos are in a class of their own in basketball in Southeast Asian.
“We’re happy for them because at least, they recognize the talent of the Filipinos and they are representing other countries. We’re happy for them especially for the Filipino communities there,” he said.
Reuben Amado, David Chuabio, and Jack Lascado were all born to Filipino parents but migrated and settled in Singapore.
The three made their trek back to their parents’ homeland for the regional tiff.
However, Singapore coach Hwee Liak Wong would rather not dwell on that narrative.
“For me, we are all Singaporeans.”
Still, the 15-year-old Amado shared that he feels proud showcasing his talents in front of the Filipino crowd.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “I was born here but I am a Singapore citizen, both my parents are Filipino. I moved to Singapore when I was six years old.”
Just like every other kid with Filipino parents, Amado’s passion for basketball was influenced by his father even before they migrated to the Lion City.
“My father introduced the sport to me, and when I was in the Philippines, I always play in the outside courts,” he said.
That’s why he feels a lot of pride helping Singapore compete in the Seaba U-16 tournament.
Unfortunately for Singapore, the team’s debut ended in a humbling 108-42 rout at the hands of Batang Gilas Pilipinas on Sunday.
Acknowledging the discrepancy on the level of talent between the two teams, Amado said the game is an eye-opener for Singapore.
“Filipinos are very intense. Their defense is very hard. It’s hard to execute the ball past the half-court line. They are very tall, very big, and they play with high intensity.”
He’s just hopeful that the lessons learned from the loss to the Philippines should be valuable for the Singaporeans moving forward.
“We have more hunger to win, we have more hunger for the ball and we will give all our strength for the next game,” he said.
Singapore will take a one day break before facing Malaysia on Tuesday.
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