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SEABA U-16 Championship set to start in CDO

By Ivan Saldajeno

CAGAYAN DE ORO--It has been a long time since the residents of the said city witnessed a very significant basketball event.

Starting on Tuesday, they are set to watch more spectacular hoops action in a regular manner again.

The Xavier University Gym in Cagayan De Oro will play host to the 2015 SEABA U-16 Championship, which will run until Sunday.

This will be the first time the Mindanao city will host a huge basketball event since the MBA, where the Cagayan De Oro Amigos played, folded in 2002. The PBA sets at least one game per season in Cagayan De Oro, while the Mindanao regional championship of the PCCL is being played here as well.

The Philippines' very own Batang Gilas will take on teams from Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, and Malaysia in the week-long tournament which serves as the qualifier for the FIBA Asia U-16 Championship.

Action begins on Tuesday with Indonesia taking on Brunei at 4 p.m. and Thailand facing Malaysia at 6 p.m.

Batang Gilas, the defending champion, will debut on Wednesday against Malaysia at 6 p.m., right after the Brunei-Thailand game at 4 p.m.

Batang Gilas will next face Thailand on Friday, Brunei on Saturday, and Indonesia on Sunday. The tournament will take a break on Thursday.

Andre Flores, Gian Mamuyac, Jed Cedrick Colonia, Jonas Tibayan, Juan Gomez De Liano, Kris Pagsanjan, Ralph Matthew Escalona, Rhayyan Amsali, Romulo Victor Berjay, Samjosef Belangel, Shaun Ildefonso, and Will Gozum banner the Batang Gilas squad, while Mike Oliver, who replaces incoming San Beda coach Jamike Jarin, calls the shots.

The team with the best record after the tournament will enter the FIBA-Asia U-16 Championship.

Jarin's Batang Gilas squad that featured the Nieto Twins, Jolo Mendoza, and Diego Dario among others eventually captured the silver in the FIBA Asia U-16 Championship, earning the team a slot to the FIBA U-17 Championship last year.