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SBP 'excited' for Gilas Men's title defense in SEA Games

Kiefer Ravena looks to cement his status as the most successful basketball player in the SEA Games as he targets his fifth gold. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—SBP president Al Panlilio said that the NSA for basketball is already ecstatic to see Gilas Pilipinas Men try to keep the Southeast Asian Games men's 5-on-5 gold at home.

"We're excited to defend our crown as the best basketball team in the region," Panlilio said in a statement.

In line with the homecourt edge, the SBP decided to bring in an all-PBA lineup for Gilas Men in the SEA Games.

Headlining the squad will be Kiefer Ravena, who is eyeing his fifth SEA Games championship. He will be joined by fellow Gilas Men veterans Junemar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Stanley Pringle, LA Tenorio, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Marcio Lassiter, Matthew Wright, and Christian Standhardinger.

Making their national team debut, on the other hand, are Chris Ross and Vic Manuel.

This is the first time a Philippine team brought in an all-pro squad in the SEA Games, easily making Gilas Men the heavy favorites to win it all.

However, Panlilio hopes that the fans will flock the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay in all the national team's games beginning with a showdown against Singapore on Dec. 4.

"We hope that the Filipino basketball fans are as excited as us and that they'll be there at the games in support of the team," he continued.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno