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PBA honors Batang Gilas

The future of Philippine basketball got a glimpse of what their future will bring if their trajectory holds.

During the halftime festivities of the TNT Katropa-Globalport Batang Pier tilt held at the SMART Araneta Coliseum on Sunday evening, the Philippine Basketball Association — headed by league Commissioner Willie Marcial — called to centercourt its special guests, Batang Gilas Pilipinas.

The Philippine Boys National Basketball Team were able to book one of the four tickets for the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup after finishing in fourth place during the recently-concluded FIBA Asia U-16 Championship.

Headlining the squad was Kai Sotto.

Sotto, who stands at 7-foot-1 and is a Chooks-to-Go ambassador, was hailed as the best under-16 year old center in Asia after posting norms of 16.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.

He was joined by his teammates Rafael Go, Raven Cortez, Maclaude Guadana, Terrence Fortea, RC Calimag, Joshua Lazaro, Rence Padrigao, Geo Chiu, Yukien Andrada, King Balaga, and Jerick Bautista.

The team is mentored by Coach Mike Oliver and Josh Reyes.

Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Ricky Vargas and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Manny V. Pangilinan graced the short ceremony as well.

The team will fly out to Argentina in June for the World Cup.

The Philippines finished in 15th place during the 2014 edition of the tourney. The country did not qualify in 2016.

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