Philippine basketball

Brownlee leads Gilas Pilipinas’ SEA Games redemption bid
Brownlee leads Gilas Pilipinas’ SEA Games redemption bid

PUSO. Justin Brownlee returns to national team duty.


After a shocking SEA Games run last year, Gilas Pilipinas looks to reclaim supremacy in the region as it unveils a star-studded 28-man pool

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines unveils its own version of a “Redeem Team” a year after the national men’s basketball squad conceded the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, ending a 52-game winning streak dating back to 1997.

Naturalized player Justin Brownlee and six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo headline the 28-man roster the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) submitted to the Philippine Olympic Committee for the 32nd SEA Games  in Cambodia this May. 

“That moment is upon us, and we’re not leaving any stone unturned in our overall bid to regain basketball glory in our region,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.

“What we’ve gone through after that fateful day in Hanoi, both the wins and the losses in the various tournaments that followed, are, in effect, geared also toward bringing the SEA Games gold medal back to our shores.”

Only Fajardo and Roger Pogoy remain as holdovers from last year’s roster, along with head coach Chot Reyes, who will also call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup, which the country will co-host with Japan and Indonesia from August 25 to September 10.

Other PBA players in the pool are CJ Perez, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Japeth Aguilar,  Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo, Christian Standhardiger, Stanley Pringle, Calvin Oftana, Poy Erram, Mikey Williams, Chris Newsome, Raymond Almazan, Aaron Black, Arvin Tolentino, Kevin Alas, Jeremiah Gray, and Brandon Rosser.

Mason Amos – who had an impressive Gilas debut in the World Cup qualifiers – leads the amateurs along with Kevin Quiambao, Jerom Lastimosa, Deschon Winston, AJ Edu, and brothers Ben and Mike Phillips.

Panlilio said he expects “nothing else but 100 percent effort and serious resolve in sending the most competitive national team possible to do the job of winning back the gold.”

“That is our commitment to our basketball-loving countrymen,” he said.

Women’s team, 3×3 pool

The Philippine women’s team, though, looks to extend its dominance in the region under national coach Pat Aquino as it guns for a third straight SEA Games gold medal.

National team stalwarts Jack Animam and Afril Bernardino lead the women’s team that won the gold in Manila and defended the title in Hanoi last year.

Joining them in the pool are Janine Pontejos, Stefanie Berberabe, Mikka Cacho, Clare Castro, France Cabinbin, Katrina Castillo, Camille Clarin, Monique del Carmen, Ella Fajardo, Katrina Guytingco, Marizze Tongco, Angelica Surada, Kacey dela Rosa, Mai Loni Lashae’ Henson, Louna Ozar, Kristine Cayabyab, Aurea Gingras, Kristan Yumul, Kennan Elizabeth Ka, Katelyn Bobadilla, Karl Ann Pingol, Sofia Roman, and Jhazmin Joson.

A record three-peat  would put the Philippines within reach of second-running Thailand, with five women’s gold medals behind perennial champion Malaysia, way ahead with 13.

For the men’s 3×3 squad, now under coach Lester Andrew del Rosario, included in the pool are Ange Kouame, Almond Vosotros, Samboy de Leon, Brandon Bates, Jorey Napoles, Lervin Flores, Joseph Eriobu, Jeffrey Manday, Alfred Batino, and Joseph Sedurifa.

The 2019 team took the gold in Manila and won the bronze in Hanoi last year.

For Aquino’s 3×3 women’s team – which aims for a podium finish after missing out on a hardware in Hanoi – players will be plucked from the 5×5 pool of Animam, Bernardino, Castillo, Dela Rosa, Pontejos, Castro, Cayabyab, and Henson. –

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