Philippines basketball team ‘expect to win’ at Southeast Asian Games

MAY 22 (Reuters) — The Philippine men’s basketball team is in full preparation for the Southeast Asian Games in June and they’re aiming to dominate the competition.

At a basketball gym in the Philippine capital, Manila, the twelve member team has been preparing almost every night, doing various drills and mock matches to stay on top of their game.

Team Coach, Tab Baldwin, said Malaysia and Singapore will be the toughest competition this year, but they have a strategy up their sleeve.

“Based on who we play, we like to be an up-tempo team. We like to be a team that is very physical and rebounds the ball very well,” he said.

Most of the Filipino athletes participated in the recent Southeast Asian Basketball Championship (SEABA) in Singapore in late April and early May and they won the tournament without losing a single game.

Team Captain, Kiefer Ravena, said his team believes they can put in a strong performance at the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.

“We really expect to win. Anything less than the gold medal is a failure for us. We have a very high standard, especially how Coach Tab is treating us. So, we did it in the SEABA but SEA Games is different. Other countries would be really preparing for us,” he said.

Manila has been sweeping gold in men’s basketball for decades and has only lost at the SEA Games once in 1989 to Malaysia.

The basketball competition for the SEA games will start from June 9 to 15. (Manila, Philippines)