EXPECT a Justin Brownlee-enforced team as the Philippines sets out to regain the gold medal it lost to Indonesia last year in Vietnam in the Cambodia 31st Southeast Asian Games in May.
“We have to redeem ourselves, and we’re eager to do that,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio told BusinessMirror on Wednesday.
Panlilio said national team head coach Chot Reyes will form the team at the end of the month—time enough to prepare for the basketball competitions set May 9 to 16 in Phnom Penh.
And naturalized player Brownlee could be part of that team.
“Passport only,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, referring to the basic requirement for an athlete to play for a particular country in the SEA Games.
The SEA Games are unlike the International Basketball Federation or FIBA tournaments where players must have secured passports from the country they intended to play for before the age of 16.
Among the Philippine passport holders who are actively playing in the Philippine Basketball Association but are ineligible to play in FIBA tournaments are Stanley Pringle, Christian Standhardinger and Chris Newsome.
The Philippines owns 18 men’s basketball gold medals and three silvers—the first two after losses to Malaysia in 1979 and 1989—and the most recent in May last year to Indonesia, 85-81.