The tallest Philippine Men’s Under-19 National Basketball Team will enter the final stage of their youth basketball career come June 30.
Headlining the squad is the twin tower combination of Kai Sotto and AJ Edu.
The two were instrumental in the Philippines’ campaign in the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asia Cup last year. Edu averaged 14.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks, while Sotto tallied norms of 12.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.
Carl Tamayo and Geo Chiu, who stand at 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-8 respectively, complete the Philippines’ tall frontcourt.
Dalph Panopio, who averaged 7.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists during the Asia Cup, will spearhead the backcourt.
Joining him are holdovers Dave Ildefonso, Rhayyan Amsali, Xyrus Torres, Miguel Oczon, and Gerry Abadiano.
Terrence Fortea will make his return to the national team, while James Spencer makes his debut.
The two cuts were 6-foot-4 forward Joshua Ramirez and 6-foot-5 power forward Bismarck Lina.
Coaching the squad is Sandy Arespacochaga, who tapped Charles Tiu, Ryan Betia, and JB Sison.
The Philippines opens its campaign against Greece on June 30 at 1:30 am. They will then face Argentina on July 1 at 1:00 am, before closing out their first round campaign against Russia on July 3 at 1:30 am.
All teams will advance to the next round.
This will be the Philippines’ first appearance in the youth tourney in 40 years.