PH U-16 vies in FIBA-Asia
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Under-16 team left for Iran Monday night, ready to slug it out with the region’s best in the FIBA-Asia U-16 Championship unfolding today in Tehran.
The Phl drew Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei in Group D and automatically made it to the second round along with Group C’s India, Japan and Jordan since there are only three teams in their respective brackets. Groups A and B have four each.
Group A is composed of reigning back-to-back champion China, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Syria while Group B has Iran, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.
“We’re going there to do battle and make the country proud,” coach Jamike Jarin told The STAR before the team left.
The squad includes Ateneo’s Mike and Matt Nieto and Jolo Mendoza, La Salle-Greenhills’ Carlo Abadeza and Mike dela Cruz, Far Eastern U’s Richard Escoto, UP’s Paul Desiderio, UPIS’ Diego Dario, San Sebastian’s Enzo Navarro, Sacred Heart of Cebu’s Arnie Padilla, Beacon’s Mikel Panlilio and Hope’s Jolo Go.
The Nationals took a bye on the first day and will see action late Thursday, 12 midnight (Phl time) against the taller, bigger Kazakhs before tangling with the Taiwanese Friday, also at 12 midnight.
The top four of this group advance to the semis against the other four quarterfinalists in the other bracket based on seeding.
The Phl swept the Southeast Asian Basketball Association U16 Championship in Yogyakarta, Indonesia last July to earn a berth in the Iran meet.
In the biennial event’s first two stagings, the Phl finished fourth in Johor Bahru in 2009 and Nah Thrang, Vietnam two years after.