Stronger Energen PH five team for Asia U18 tourney
THE ENERGEN Pilipinas under-18 team will fortify its lineup for the Fiba Asia U18 tournament set Aug. 17 to 26.
National youth coach Olsen Racela said the squad may beef up its roster with more talents after the two major varsity leagues pledged to lend their players in the Asia tournament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia serving as a world qualifier.
“The UAAP will even free up its juniors schedule for the Fiba Asia in August,” said Racela. “With the NCAA, we’re also in the process of requesting for help. But some schools have already committed.”
Led by under-16 holdover Jay Alejandro, the Philippines completed a title sweep of the 8th Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) U18 Championship for Men in Singapore over the weekend.
Aside from defending their crown, the Nationals earned the right to represent the region in the Fiba Asia along with runners-up Indonesia and Singapore.
As they brace for tougher competition, Racela hopes to tap more talents including reigning UAAP juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy of Far Eastern University and Ateneo’s Kris Porter and Gideon Babilonia.
The Philippines will be ranged against powerhouse China, along with East Asia qualifiers Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and host Mongolia.
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