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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sinag Pilipinas Almost Ready: 16-man Pool Named

The Sinag Pilipinas men's national basketball team has trimmed down the pool to 16 players, from which the final 12-man roster will be named for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championships in April and the Southeast Asian Games in June. While the Philippines has been a perennial title favorite in the regional meets, newly-installed Philippine national coach Tab Baldwin is not leaving anything to chance.

Named to the pool were Sinag Pilipinas veterans Marcus Douthit, Kiefer Ravena, Mark Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Garvo Lanete, and Rayray Parks. New additions are La Salle's Jeron Teng, Norbert Torres, Almond Vosotros, Prince Rivero, and Arnold Van Opstal, San Beda's Baser Amer, Perpetual's Earl Scottie Thompson, National University's Troy Rosario and Glenn Khobuntin, Ateneo's Thirdy Ravena, and Arellano's Jiovani Jalalon.



Let's take a look at the selections:

Big Men

Marcus Douthit

Height: 6'10"
Natural Position: Center
Other Positions Played: None

Probably the most reliable and experienced big man in the pool, Marcus Douthit may be a shoo-in for the 12-man lineup for both the SEABA and the SEAG. He is also the tallest at 6'10". Douthit is no stranger to international competition and his leadership will be a big plus for the team.

Troy Rosario

Height: 6'7"
Natural Position: Power Forward
Other Positions Played: Center

NU's Troy Rosario is a winner, he was part of NU's 2014 UAAP champion team. He has also some international experience as he was once part of the RP Youth Team. Rosario is an agile big man who can shoot from mid-range and possesses above average athleticism.

Arnold Van Opstal

Height: 6'7"
Natural Position: Center
Other Positions Played: None

Arnold Van Opstal is a winner, he won the UAAP championship with La Salle in 2013. He is one of 5 DLSU players named in the pool. Should all 5 be named to the final pool, that bids well for team chemistry as these guys have played with each other for a few seasons already.

Norbert Torres 

Height: 6'6"
Natural Position: Center
Other Positions Played: Power Forward

Norbert "The Bear" Torres has good international experience having been part of the RP Youth Team under the guidance of then DLSU head coach Franz Pumaren. This bruiser's wide body and physical play should be his best asset and contribution to the team.

Stretch Forwards

Mark Belo 

Height: 6'4"
Natural Position: Power Forward
Other Positions Played: Small Forward

Cotabato's Mark Belo is athletic. He can shoot the three. He has international experience. He is a champion. And he is a 6'4" forward that can do it both with finesse and physical play. 

Glenn Khobuntin 

Height: 6'4"
Natural Position: Power Forward
Other Positions Played: None

Cagayan de Oro's Glenn Khobuntin is a winner having won the UAAP championship with NU last year. Let's see if Tab Baldwin likes what he sees in this kid.

Prince Rivero

Height: 6'3"
Natural Position: Small Forward
Other Positions Played: Power Forward

Young Prince Rivero is one of 5 La Salle Players named to the pool. He can score and crash the boards. 

Swingmen

Kevin Ferrer

Height: 6'4"
Natural Position: Small Forward
Other Positions Played: Power Forward, Shooting Guard

Kevin Ferrer is a tall, lanky, and ferocious on-ball defender that can shut down the opposing team's best offensive player. If Gilas has Gabe Norwood, Sinag's version is Kevin Ferrer, who can play positions 2,3,and 4. He has an above average basketball mind and his offensive skills are more than average too. He can crash the boards and his handles can be counted on.

Jeron Teng

Height: 6'2"
Natural Position: Small Forward
Other Positions Played: Power Forward, Shooting Guard

His shooting may be suspect both from outside and from the line, but Jeron Teng has proven he can lead a team, can hit the big shots at crunchtime, and can score in bunches. He once scored 104 points in a high school game back in the day. And he is big and physical at the wing.

Rayray Parks

Height: 6'3"
Natural Position: Shooting Guard
Other Positions Played: Small Forward, Point Guard

Rayray Parks is talented and although many question his leadership solely on the basis that NU won the UAAP Championship the year he left, there is no doubt he is among the more talented guards in the pool. He can play positions 1,2, & 3, has great athleticism, and has a wealth of international experience.

Guards

Kiefer Ravena

Height: 5'11"
Natural Position: Shooting Guard
Other Positions Played: Point Guard

UAAP MVP, UAAP champion, international competition veteran, UAAP scoring champion, and the list can go on. Kiefer Ravena will be in that final 12-man roster because he is just too talented not be included.

Almond Vosotros

Height: 5'9"
Natural Position: Shooting Guard
Other Positions Played: Point Guard

This La Salle guard is a big clutch performer. Although short at 5'9", he more than makes up for that with his on-court smarts and intelligence.

Jiovani Jalalon

Height: 5'9"
Natural Position: Point Guard
Other Positions Played: None

Jiovani Jalalon has made heads turn in the NCAA this past season. Will he bring that level up to the national team?

Earl Scottie Thompson

Height: 6'0"
Natural Position: Point Guard
Other Positions Played: Shooting Guard

Earl Thompson is NCAA MVP. He is a tall point guard who can also play the 2-guard spot. I'd love to see him crack the final 12.

Thirdy Ravena

Height: 6'0"
Natural Position:  Shooting Guard
Other Positions Played: Small Forward

Thirdy comes from a basketball family and its not hard to see why he understands how to play basketball very well. It would be nice to see brothers team up for the national campaign.

Garvo Lanete

Height: 6'2"
Natural Position: Shooting Guard
Other Positions Played: Point Guard

The most experienced local or natural-born player in the pool, Garvo competed in several Asian-level tournaments for senior men, most recent of which was the 2014 FIBA Asia Championships in Wuhan where he won bronze with Gilas. The 26-year old could be a lock for a spot in the lineup.


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