Hopes high on Gilas 5x5, 3x3 teams
John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas eyes gold-medal finishes for both the Gilas Pilipinas 5x5 team and the 3x3 squad in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Cage officials have high hopes on both teams.

“We’re very happy that the players we selected are also eager to participate. We’re gunning for no less than a gold medal in the SEA Games and we know there’s a lot of work ahead but we’re confident that we’ll have the best team out there,” said SBP president Al Panlilio after the 3x3 team’s very first assembly the other day at the Meralco Gym. 

Head coach Ronnie Magsanoc convened the PBA-backed 3x3 pool with eight of the 12 members showing up for their first meeting since the roster announcement late last month.

Present were Baser Amer and Chris Newsome of Meralco, CJ Perez of Columbian, Terrence Romeo of San Miguel, Mac Belo of Blackwater, Mo Tautuaa of NorthPort, Jason Perkins of Phoenix and Chris Banchero of Alaska.

The Batang Pier’s Robert Bolick, Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang, TNT’s Anthony Semerad and the Bolts’ Raymond Almazan were the ones missing.

The SBP and Magsanoc also welcomed the appearance of veteran SMB guard Alex Cabagnot who volunteered to assist the young hopefuls for the 3x3 event that will be introduced in this coming SEAG.

“Alex can certainly help us with the preparation and motivation because we all know he is a winner,” said Magsanoc, who also have UP’s Moriah Gingerich as among his deputies in the team.

“Alex volunteered to help out, and we’re thankful that he offered his services.  He is willing to impart his basketball knowledge to help out the younger players,” said Panlilio.

The first meeting was just an orientation.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us as some players need to adjust to the 3x3 brand of play,” said Magsanoc whose troops will be up against teams from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

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