MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas will have homecourt advantage as the Philippines will host the 2017 Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship, national team coach Chot Reyes announced on Monday, January 23.
Reyes posted the news on his Twitter account, also confirming that tournament dates will be from April 23 to 30.
We just rcvd confirmation that SEABA has awarded the Men's senior & U16 hosting to Manila, Apr 23-30. #LabanPilipinasPuso! — Chot Reyes (@coachot) January 23, 2017
The SEABA Championship will see 7 nations competing for the title, which qualifies the country for the upcoming FIBA Asia Continental Cup starting in November.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will reportedly be the other participating nations.
According to Sports5, the U-16 tournament will take place simultaneously with the men's championship while a women's tourney will also be played in Manila from May 16 to 20.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas or SBP, the country's basketball federation, initially expressed interest in hosting the tournament in December of 2016 but only heard back on Monday. The country last hosted a major basketball competition in July 2016 when the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
SBP announced on Sunday, January 22 the 12 PBA players who completed his 24-man pool for the year and beyond, including veterans Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, and Japeth Aguilar.
Though Gilas is looking at a busy year of competition that also includes the Southeast Asian Games in August, Reyes emphasized SEABA is the team's first and foremost priority since it's a qualifying tournament for FIBA Asia. – Rappler.com