MANILA, Philippines – Tropang TNT star rookie Troy Rosario and Blackwater Elite back-up Almond Vosotros will lead the Gilas Cadets as they aim for gold in the 2016 SEABA Cup to be held from May 22-27 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Handled by Gilas-Pilipinas assistant and FEU Tamaraws head coach Nash Racela, the national squad is playing for a first-place finish against 4 other opponents: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and hometown team Thailand.
The tournament will feature a single-round robin eliminations where all teams face each other before the battle for third and championship games on Friday, May 27.
The placings after the elimination round will determine which games the 4 advanced countries will play on the final day of competition.
The top two teams will earn tickets to the FIBA Asia Challenge to be held in Iran in September.
Joining Rosario and Vosotros are FEU standouts Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, Russel Escoto, Raymar Jose, Mike Tolomia, and Ken Holmqvist, all of whom were part of the Tamaraws’ UAAP title-winning roster in 2015.
UAAP MVP runner-up Kevin Ferrer, Jio Jalalon, Von Pessumal, and Jonas Tibayan are also joining the team that will be sent to Bangkok.
The strongest opposition the Philippine team likely faces is Thailand, which besides playing on their home floor, has experience playing tough against the Gilas Cadets.
During the semifinals game of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, the Gilas Cadets barely pulled out an 80-75 victory over the Thai thanks to a clutch shot by Kiefer Ravena, who’s not playing with the Cadets anymore but is practicing with the Gilas pool for the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers.
Rosario scored 27 in that match while Vosotros registered 18, including some big shots in the second half. – Rappler.com