The 30th Edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) is scheduled to begin in the next couple of months, but the Philippine men’s basketball team is looking to put together a squad now.
According to officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the Philippine national team will consist of players from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and standout amateurs.
SBP President Al Panlilio told the media that they have already submitted a list of 24 players to the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee. He went on to say that the intention of the presented list of players should be considered developmental, but they are hoping they can have a combination of pros and amateurs when the final roster is ready.
Coach Ryan Gregorio stated that they are making some tweaks to the developmental list and that many of the players from the 2019 FIBA World Cup are currently not included in the list. Coach Gregorio also stated that he wanted to add some college players so they could gain regional tournament experience.
The Philippines has a rich history of basketball, and the national basketball team usually dominates the category at the Southeast Asian Games. SBP chairman Manny V. Pangilinan wants to use the 2019 SEA tournament as a stepping stone for amateur players who could end up representing the Philippines in the 2023 World Cup.
Chairman Pangilinan told media sources, it’s good for the younger players to be exposed regionally. It’s not global, but it is a large region. They need exposure to international play as much as possible.”
Basketball has been one of the most popular Philippine sports for a long time. The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is the second longest-running basketball league behind the National Basketball Association (NBA). Betting on basketball in the Philippines has also been popular since the sport was first introduced in the early 1900s.
Filipinos are not allowed to bet on domestic sports, but offshore sportsbooks can offer those domestic sports betting lines to residents of the Philippines without breaking any law. Philippine gambling laws do not address offshore betting sites; therefore, the government only suggests that online bettors use licensed sites to protect themselves from fraudulent websites.