Batang Gilas Under-16 to see action as country hosts 2015 SEABA youth tilt

Looking to replicate the successful run of their predecessors, the latest incarnation of the Batang Gilas Pilipinas Under-16 squad is set to make its debut at the 3rd Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Under-16 Men’s Championship which will be held from April 14-19 in Cagayan de Oro City.

Poised to defend the SEABA title on home soil, Batang Gilas U16 also seeks to advance to the 2015 FIBA Asia Under-16 meet slated this July. The regional tournament serves as the qualifier for the continental joust, with three slots allotted for the top three finishers of the SEABA meet.

Winning the SEABA crown two years ago, Batang Gilas went on to cop the silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia U16 Championship in Iran. This accomplishment paved the way for the country’s inaugural appearance at the FIBA Under-17 World Championship which took place in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Now with a new head coach in FEU Juniors bench tactician Michael Oliver, who took over the reins of the national youth side from  current San Beda College mentor Jamike Jarin, Batang Gilas will attempt to duplicate the winning ways of its previous squads with an entirely new line-up composed of the country’s up-and-coming prep cagers.

Making up the 12-man squad are:

Rhayyan Amsali – 6’3” Forward, National University

Sam Josef Belangel – 5’11”, Guard, Taytung HS (Bacolod City)/ Ateneo de Manila HS

Romulo Berjay – 6’3”, Forward, United Kingdom/Ateneo de Manila HS

Jed Colonia- 5’9”, Guard, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu

Ralph Escalona – Guard, Ateneo de Manila HS

Gillian Flores- Guard, Traill International School (Bangkok, Thailand)

Will Gozum- 6’5”, Center, University of the Philippines Integrated School

Shaun Ildefonso- 6’2”, Forward, Ateneo de Manila HS

Juan Gomez de Llano- 6’0”, Guard, University of the Philippines Integrated School

Gian Mamuyac- 5’10”, Guard, Ateneo de Manila HS

Kris Pagsanjan- 5’11”, Guard, Hope Christian HS

Jonas Tibayan – 6’4”, Forward/ Center, Chiang Kai Shek HS

Batang Gilas will have an opening day bye and will start their title-retention bid on Wednesday, April 15 versus Malaysia. The team will then face Thailand on Friday, April 17 and Brunei on Saturday, April 18 before closing out their campaign against Indonesia on Sunday, April 19. All games will be played at the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan gymnasium.

Here is the complete schedule of all teams competing in the 3rd SEABA Under-16 Championship: