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Sports

June Mar, Kiefer lead Gilas Hanoi cast

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
June Mar, Kiefer lead Gilas Hanoi cast
June Mar Fajardo.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and five-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Kiefer Ravena lead the Gilas Pilipinas contingent out to continue the country’s long-standing basketball dominance in the 31st SEAG in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Based on the list provided by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Fajardo will join forces with fellow PBA stalwarts Isaac Go, Mo Tautuaa, Troy Rosario, Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy, Kib Montalbo and Kevin Alas in the mission to win the country’s 14th straight hoops gold.

Ravena, who played in the Japan B. League this season, got a shot at a sixth mint as he cracked the 12-man roster along with his brother Thirdy, Will Navarro and youngster Francis “Lebron” Lopez.

Not making it to the final 12 were Dwight Ramos, Robert Bolick and Japeth Aguilar.

“Dwight still has obligations with his team in Japan, so he begged off, as did Robert who had to fly to the US to be with his ailing father; while Japeth’s calf injury is still not 100 percent,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.

PBA 3x3 stalwarts Jorey Napoles, Marvin Hayes, Brandon Rosser and Reymar Caduyac will defend Gilas’ gold in the men’s three-a-side event.

Even with a full plate for its 47th season, the PBA has reaffirmed its full commitment to the Gilas Pilipinas program.

“The calendar will be very tight because primarily the PBA board has committed its continued support to the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) on the formation of the national team,” PBA vice chairman Bobby Rosales said.

JUNE MAR FAJARDO

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