Batang Gilas departed for Argentina Thursday night for the 2018 Fiba Under-17 World Cup which unfurls on June 30.
The Smart-backed U-17 national team held its last practice Thursday morning at Meralco gym before embarking on a 31-hour journey to South America.
In Argentina, the Gilas boys led by mentors Mike Oliver and Josh Reyes face stiff competition as they are bracketed with powerhouses France, Croatia and the hosts.
PLDT and Smart president and CEO Manny V. Pangilinan, though, is confident that Batang Gilas can contend with its fancied European foes having assembled the best possible talent available.
“We have a strong contender with our current U17 lineup. With their smarts, speed, hard work, and
teamwork, we are confident they will do well in this tough competition,” Pangilinan, who is also the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus.
The Batang Gilas team members are Gerry Abadiano, Carl Tamayo,Bismarck Lina, Miguel Pascual, Rafael Go, Joshua Lazaro, Forthsky Padrigao, Mac Guadana, Geo Chiu, Raven Cortez, Terrence Fortea, Kai Sotto, and RC Calimag.
The national face Croatia on June 30, France on July 1, and Argentina on July 3. The top two in each group will advance to the knockout playoffs.
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