Batang Gilas’ vaunted frontcourt will probably take up most of the headlines during their campaign in the FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship in Thailand, but it’s possible that they’ll go only as far as their backcourt takes them.
Head coach Josh Reyes noted that his guards will be vital cogs for the tournament and said that they’ll struggle even with size if their floor generals fail to find their footing.
“I think the backcourt is the most crucial part of this team. We have size, yes, but if our guards or shooters are not able to get the ball inside, then balewala na may malaki tayo,” he explained.
Only National University’s Gerry Abadiano was retained from the group that finished 13th in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup earlier this month, but Reyes is confident that this team’s slew of guards are skilled and experienced enough to hold the fort.
Fil-Italian Dalph Panopio, NU’s Dave Ildefonso, Joshua Ramirez and Miguel Oczon, and FEU’s Xyrus Torres will all take turns handling the offense as Batang Gilas goes to war from August 5 to 11.
“We had a lot of difficulties initiating our offense in the Worlds because of the length and the pressure and the athleticism of the guards there. Now we have a veteran trio of guards so I expect the transition to be really good,” he said.
(Photo credit: FIBA)