As the 2019 Southeast Asian Games looms, much of the spotlight has been directed to coach Tim Cone’s talented 15-man pool composed of six Ginebra players.
But for the first time in the biennial event’s rich history, participating nations will also get a chance to win medals in the increasingly popular 3×3 basketball setting.
Set to take place on December 1 and 2 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan, the SEA Games 3×3 tournament will feature the host team Philippines go up against Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and either Laos, Brunei, or Cambodia.
The 12-man pool is headlined by a bevy of phenomenal guards like Baser Amer and Chris Newsome from Meralco, Columbian’s CJ Perez, San Miguel Beer’s Terrence Romeo, Robert Bolick of NorthPort and Chris Banchero of Alaska.
Rounding up the pool are an assortment of serviceable wings and bigs in Mac Belo (Blackwater), Moala Tautuaa (NorthPort), Jason Perkins (Phoenix), Ian Sangalang (Magnolia), Anthony Semerad ( TNT), and Raymond Almazan (Meralco). The team will be coached by PBA legend Ronnie Magsanoc.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio bared his high hopes for the talented group — which he hopes to trim to six or seven players in the coming days.
“We want to thank the PBA once again for making sure that the best talents were made available for this pool,” he said. “We’re very happy that the players we selected were also eager to participate. We’re gunning for no less than a gold medal in the SEA Games and we know there’s a lot of work ahead but we’re confident that we’ll have the best team out there.”
Serving as deputies for Magsanoc are assistants Moriah Gingerich from University of the Philippines and former national team member and SMB star Alex Cabagnot.
“Alex volunteered to help out and we’re thankful that he offered his services. He is willing to impart his basketball knowledge to help out the younger players,” shared Panlilio.
“He’ll certainly help us with the preparation and motivation as well because we all know he is a winner,” Magsanoc added.
With only four player slots available in the SEA Games, Panlilio bared that the final selection will likely go down to which players will develop chemistry right away and be accustomed to the 3×3 rules.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us as some players need to adjust to the 3×3 brand of play. Because of the short turnaround, we’ll base our decision on the lineup on who’ll click as a team,” he concluded.