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Batang Gilas begins SEABA U16 title defense



Batang Gilas defends its title against four more ASEAN basketball squads as the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Under-16 Championship fires off on Wednesday at the Xavier University Gym in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.

Mike Oliver will call the shots for the Philippine side which will be bannered by Andre Flores, Gian Mamuyac, Jed Cedrick Colonia, Jonas Raphael Tibayan, Juan Gomez De Liano, Kris Pagsanjan, Ralph Matthew Escalona, Rhayyan Amsali, Romulo Victor Berjay, Samjosef Belangel, Shaun Ildefonso, and Will Allen Gozum.

Teams will play a single round-robin, and the team with the best record at the end of the elimination will be crowned champions. The tournament also serves as a qualification for the 2015 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship.

Philippines, the defending champion of the tournament, plays Malaysia on April 15, Thailand on April 17, Brunei on April 18, and Indonesia on April 19.

In the 2013 edition, Ateneo Blue Eaglets spitfire Jolo Mendoza led the team and was crowned Most Valuable Player. The 2013 U16 team handled by Jamike Jarin eventually captured silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship and represented the nation in the FIBA World Under-17 Championship in 2014.

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