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Uichico: SEAG gold not guaranteed for Gilas

MANILA, Philippines – The national fervor has burned long and fierce inside Jong Uichico. First as a player for the fabled Northern Consolidated Cement squad that represented the country in international competitions in the 1980s. Second as a coaching assistant for various iterations of the national squad in the 1990s and the new millennium. And as head coach for the team seeing action in the Southeast Asian Games.

Uichico coached the Filipinos to the gold medal in the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar and despite the country being favorites to annex the gold once more in Kuala Lumpur this coming August, he insists, it isn’t a given. The gold in particular.

Jong Uichico
“It would be easy to say that, but we’ve been in the business too long to say that. It really is one game at a time. And as the saying goes, ‘bilog ang bola.’”

The Philippine team that will see action in Kuala Lumpur will be more or less the same as the one that saw action in the Jones Cup.

“We want to make sure that we are represented by a better line-up,” offered the coach.

“We figured that out nagtatago pa yung ibang countries ng mga player nila nung SEABA,” added Uichico during Gilas practice over the weekend. “We fielded a top-level team while the others were saving theirs for the SEA Games. Yes, they are catching up. They are improving. They have access to better coaching, training, and fielding their countrymen born overseas. Their programs are now in place as they are serious.”

Source: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/07/31/1723233/uichico-seag-gold-not-guaranteed-gilas

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