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SBP chairman Angara thinks current Gilas crop will lift PH in basketball ranks

SBP chairman Sonny Angara praised Gilas Pilipinas for successfully defending its home floor in the FIBA ACQ Angeles bubble. FIBA/Paul Ryan Tan (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman Sonny Angara believes the Gilas Pilipinas pool that swept the Angeles bubble of the FIBA Asia Cup Quaifiers would bring the Philippines back to its glory days in basketball.

"Siguradong ito na ang bubuhat sa estado ng Pilipinas sa larangan ng basketball sa mga darating na panahon," the concurrent Philippine senator said on Monday.

Gilas won all of its three matches in the third window of the FIBA ACQ, two victories against South Korea and a rout of Indonesia in between.

Gilas is expected to move up in the FIBA 5-on-5 rankings once the update will be released.

With that said, Angara is optimistic that the Philippines would sustain its resurgence as an Asian basketball stronghold thanks to Gilas.

"Malaki ang pag-asa ng Philippine basketball na bumalik sa dating sigla nito dahil sa ipinakikitang galing at dedikasyon ng mga manlalaro, gayundin ng coaching staff," Angara continued.

He also believes Coach Tab Baldwin is the right man for the Gilas job after steering the national team to the third window sweep.

"Wala nang aangkop pa bilang coach ng Gilas kundi si Baldwin lamang dahil sa mga dekalidad na basketball program nito para sa Philippine team," Angara further said.

He also said that both the Senate and the House of Representatives made the right move on pushing for the naturalization of Ange Kouame.

The 6-foot-11 center of Ivorian origin showed that he is an inside-outside threat for Gilas during the Angeles bubble, proving his worth as the team's starting slotman.

"Hindi nagkamali ang dalawang sangay ng Kongreso nang igiit nila ang naturalization ng former Ivorian cager.

Angara also expressed bullishness that Kai Sotto will be among the biggest names among the next generation of Filipino ballers.

He also lauded SBP president Al Panlilio and chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan for doing a good job in leading the sports association.

Angara concluded by vowing that he will continue to support the SBP's drive to further develop Philippine basketball.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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