The final 12-man lineup for Gilas Pilipinas in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
No guarantees Philippines will dominate SEA Games basketball – SBP
John Bryan Ulanday ( - November 26, 2019 - 4:03pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines may be the region’s undisputed king but Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas said sweeping the four gold medals in the 30th Southeast Asian Games is easier said than done.

"It won’t be easy," said SBP president Al Panlilio as pressure started to mount on the cage governing body with the games set to fire off December 1 with the inaugural 3x3 basketball at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The traditional 5x5 will start December 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

But while expectations are high on coach Tim Cone-led Gilas Pilipinas, Panlilio remains wary of the host's chances to dominate the men’s and women’s divisions.

"Well, that's the plan (sweeping all four golds). After all, it's our no. 1 sport. Hopefully we'll be able to achieve that," added Panlilio, also the team governor of Meralco and president of Smart.

This came about as the SBP named Jack Animam, Clare Castro, Janine Pontejos and Afril Bernardino as members of the women’s 3x3 squad with the four also making up the core of the 5x5 side to be handled by six-time UAAP champion coach Pat Aquino.

Top PBA rookie CJ Perez, on the other hand, banners the men's 3x3 squad with Chris Newsome, Mo Tautuaa and Jason Perkins with Meralco deputy coach Ronnie Magsanoc as mentor.

These 3x3 teams are eyeing to be the first SEAG champions with the event also calendared for the first time in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Gilas women's 5-on-5, meanwhile, is gunning for a SEAG breakthrough after a string of failed bids marred by a fourth place finish in Kuala Lumpur Games in 2017. The Filipinas’ best finish was silver in Myanmar in 2013.

But focus will be on the all-pro squad led by five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo with Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, Kiefer Ravena, Roger Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, Christian Standhardinger, Matthew Wright, Troy Rosario and Stanley Pringle, Vic Manuel and Chris Ross tipped to dominate their rivals and extend the country’s reign as the region’s No. 1 squad to 13th straight SEAG for an overall 18th championship.

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