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International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines — Jimmy Alapag has had quite a career in the PBA, but he will be most remembered for his stints with the Philippine men’s national basketball team.

Even Alapag himself considers playing for the national team as something he will never forget, and serving the country is exactly what he wants young players today to experience especially now that he’s their coach.

“It’s a great opportunity for these kids,” Alapag, who was the captain of the Gilas Pilipinas team which won the silver in the Fiba Asia two years ago, said of representing the country.

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Jun Mar Fajardo RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer will head the cast of aspirants for the Gilas Pilipinas national pool bound for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship this year in China.

Head coach Tab Baldwin announced Tuesday that around 25 players from the PBA would comprise the team as Gilas begins the quest to land a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Except for the 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the reigning PBA MVP, Baldwin has remained tight-lipped over the other players being considered.

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International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines — Kiefer Ravena is no stranger to the international stage.

The 21-year-old Ateneo star has been part of four Philippine national teams since 2009 and he couldn’t be more honored to be given another shot at representing the country.

“It’s always different [playing for the national team]. It’s always privilege,” Ravena told INQUIRER.net during the first tryout for the Sinag Pilipinas team on Monday night at the Philsports Arena.

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International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines — Tab Baldwin’s first order of business as the national team head coach is to deliver two golds in a span of two months.

A gold medal in the 11th Seaba Championship in April and another one in the 28th SEA Games in June — regional meets where the country is expected to win thoroughly while the rest of the competition fight for second place.

“That’s our goal. Our goal is to win gold and we’re not really going to discuss anything else,” Baldwin told INQUIRER.net late Monday night during the first tryout for the Sinag Pilipinas team which will represent the country in both tournaments to be held in Singapore.

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With their backs against the wall, Guangdong is reportedly set to bring back American point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Kevin Jairaj-USA Today Sports

Emmanuel Mudiay hasn't played for the Guangdong Tigers since injuring his ankle in early December, but that could change with the team facing elimination in the Chinese Basketball Association playoffs. With Guangdong trailing Stephon Marbury's Beijing Ducks 0-2 in a best-of-five series, the Tigers are reportedly planning to bring Mudiay back for Game 3, according to reporter Nick Bedard.

Why is this newsworthy? Because Mudiay is expected to be among the top five picks in the 2015 NBA Draft. Mudiay was the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2014 according to Rivals, behind only Duke center Jahlil Okafor. While both college and NBA fans have gotten a first-hand look at Okafor, Mudiay mostly remains a mystery. Many believed he wouldn't play another game in the CBA and would instead focus all of his attention on training for the draft.

Mudiay is a 6'5 point guard out of Dallas who was originally committed to Larry Brown and SMU before deciding to turn pro. He has drawn comparison to a young John Wall as a powerful and athletic lead guard who needs to improve his outside jumper. Mudiay is expected to be one of the first two guards selected in the 2015 draft alongside Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell.

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Kobe Paras, LA Cathedral crash out of California playoff (February 27, 2015)
Bong Lozada [ Source: Inquirer ]

International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines—Los Angeles Cathedral and Kobe Paras weren’t so lucky when they faced top-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery on Thursday (Manila time).

Cathedral absorbed a 59-47 defeat to Torrance Bishop Montgomery and failed to advance to the semifinals of the Southern Section Open Division, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

Oregon State-commit Stephen Thompson Jr. was there for Bishop Montgomery every time Cathedral knocked on the lead.

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Kobe Paras. Philippine Star File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Kobe Paras and the LA Cathedral Phantoms go for broke when they attempt for the third time to finally beat top seed Bishop Montgomery Knights.

Kobe, the 17-year old son of PBA Rookie-MVP Benjie Paras has been instrumental in the Phantoms' playoff run. The 6-6 junior standout from the Philippines is averaging 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, one assist and 2.5 steals in 23 games for LA Cathedral which finished the regular season with 19-6 win-loss record to advance to the playoffs.

Paras scored 13 points including three clutch baskets to help the Phantoms overcome Redondo Union Sea Hawks in the first round. The win set them up with a third meeting against the Knights.

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