MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Under-16 basketball team will begin its FIBA Asia campaign on October 19 against Indonesia, with the hopes of improving a 4th-place finish in the 2009 edition of the tournament.
According to the official FIBA Asia U-16 website, the Philippines qualified for the tournament after dominating the SEABA U-16 Championship in Malaysia, winning all of its 4 assignments by an average of 38 points.
But the team will have a more difficult time in the FIBA Asia tourney, as some key players will not be available.
Players from the San Beda College Red Cubs, in particular, will not be available as the team is playing in the Final Four of the NCAA Juniors tournament.
The team will still try to make an impact especially after training in the United States, said manager Ito Lopa.
"We also trained under coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat when he came to Manila," Lopa said.
The Philippines is in Group D with Indonesia and host team Vietnam.
The top 2 teams in the tournament will qualify for next year's FIBA Under-17 World Championship, which will be held in Lithuania.