Alaska lends 3 players to SEABA team

Alaska Aces LA Tenorio, Mac Baracael and Sonny Thoss, and naturalized player Marcus Douthit lead seven other cagers from the amateur ranks to compose the SMART Gilas Pilipinas national men’s team that will compete in the SEABA in Chang Mai, Thailand on July 3 to 7.  The SEABA will serve as the qualifying tournament for the FIBA-Asia Stankovic Cup to be held in Tokyo, Japan in September this year.

Former Gilas campaigners Chris Tiu and Aldrech Ramos rejoin the national team along with NLEX Road Warriors Garvo Lanete, Dave Marcelo, Eman Monfort, Woody Co and Borgie Hermida.  Cebuana Lhuiller’s Vic Manuel was supposed to be the 12th member of the team after he committed to Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, but he failed to show up in practices and would not return calls.

The Nationals will be playing Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and host Thailand in the five-day joust.

Antonio confirmed that the three Alaska stars got the go-signal from their team and the PBA, after the Aces bowed out of contention in the on-going Governor’s Cup of the pro league.  Baracael was among the pioneer members of the Smart Gilas team under former coach Rajko Toroman.

Fil-Ams Chris Ellis and Cliff Hodge, who both were with the Smart Sinag national team that bagged the gold in the SEA Games last year, were dropped from the roster due to eligibility problems as a result of their citizenship.  A similar problem was experienced by the original Gilas squad that placed 4th in the FIBA Asia Championship last year, when the governing body questioned the citizenships of Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter. Both players were unable to play in the Nationals’ first two games in that tournament, against the United Arab Emirates and eventual champion China.  The issue was resolved before Gilas’ third game.

Meanwhile, Douthit arrived from the United States yesterday and joined the national team’s preparation for the SEABA.  The former Providence College standout went to the US to attend court hearings for the custody of his daughter. Douthit was the best player in the FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China last year, averaging 21.9 points and 12.2 rebounds for Gilas, eclipsing NBA veterans Yi Jianlian’s (China) 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds, and Hamed Haddadi’s (Iran) 15.4 markers and 11.4 boards.
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