Hoping to avoid scheduling conflicts, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has made the first step in informing the UAAP and the NCAA about the schedule of the Philippine youth team which will compete to two Asian competitions this year.
National youth coach Olsen Racela said that the SBP has already written the two collegiate leagues about the team’s international schedule, which includes the SEABA Under-18 Championship for Men on June 26 to 30 in Singapore and the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Ulan Bataar, Mongolia on August 17 to 26.
“SBP already wrote a letter to the UAAP and NCAA informing them of the youth schedules. As much as possible, we are hoping to field the best possible team in both youth tournaments,” said Racela.
The Philippine youth team bankrolled by Energen competed in various tournaments last year, but were not in full strength during the 2011 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship due to the absence of several key players.
San Beda’s Arvin Tolentino, Gideon Babilonia, and Ranbill Tongco, and Gelo Vito of La Salle Greenhills were not able to suit up during the Asian tournament after their mother schools reached the NCAA juniors finals.
Despite the absence of the four players, the Philippine team went on to finish fourth in the tournament held in Nha Trang, Vietnam losing to South Korea in the bronze medal match.
Racela said that tryouts will be held for the creation of a new squad although some holdovers of last year’s Under-16 squad are expected to be invited.
“We are hopeful that the UAAP and NCAA can do something to help our youth program,” he added.
The top three finishers in the FIBA Asia Under-18 tilt will advance to the FIBA Under-19 World Championships in 2013.
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