International Basketball

Every time his name is called up, Filipino teenage sensation Kobe Paras is wasting no time giving his all for flag and country.

And another opportunity is awaiting the 17-year-old as he is set to lead the country in the 2015 FIBA 3×3 Under-18 World Championships to be played in Debrecen, Hungary next week.

“I’m excited to play,” Paras said in a FIBA interview.

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International Basketball

THE SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will have three months to come up with a presentation that needs to impress officials of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in the Central Board meeting in Tokyo on Aug. 8.
SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios told BusinessWorld in a text message that the group has already complied with the requirements needed for the 2019 World Cup bidding. The Philippines and China are the only two countries angling for the hosting rights of the biggest basketball event in the world.

The documents were sent via DHL and a copy was e-mailed.

“Basically, the documents contained arrangements on hotel, venues, local transportation, security and other important matters needed for the hosting rights,” Mr. Barrios added. “We didn’t go to Switzerland, but we sent the documents via DHL and a soft copy via Internet.”

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International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Andray Blatche has committed 100 percent to Gilas Pilipinas in its FIBA Asia championship campaign this year.

The naturalized Filipino is expected to be in Manila near the end of the PBA Governors’ Cup to join the team’s practices ahead of the Olympic qualifier.

“We expect him to be with us. I’ve spoken to Andray and he’s told me he’s committed and will be 100 percent with the team,” Gilas coach Tab Baldwin told Richard Dy in a report to sports website Spin.

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Tab keeps Gilas Cadets sharp for Singapore meet (May 27, 2015)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 Marcus Douthit. Philippine Star photo

MANILA, Philippines - Even as the Gilas Cadets, reinforced by Marcus Douthit, bowled over the opposition by an average of 68.4 points at the recent Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championships, coach Tab Baldwin isn’t taking the competition lightly in the Philippines’ bid for a 17th gold medal in men’s hoops at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore on June 5-16.

Since the SEA Games welcomed the Philippines in 1977, basketball has been played in the biennial 11-nation conclave in 17 of 19 stagings. The Philippines has won 16 gold medals so far with Malaysia the only other country to hit paydirt in 1989. Basketball was not played in the SEA Games in Manila in 2005 because of the Philippines’s suspension by FIBA and in the 2009 edition in Laos because of the host nation’s prerogative.

Gilas Cadets team manager Butch Antonio said the other day practices continue to be held every day from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Meralco gym until departure for Singapore. “Coach Tab made two changes from the SEABA lineup with Bobby Ray (Parks) leaving for the US to try his luck in the NBA summer league and Russell (Escoto) out because he wasn’t in the original roster submitted to the SEA Games organizers last March,” said Antonio. “After the SEABA Championships, coach Tab gave the team a one-week break then resumed daily practice except for two days to allow those playing in the PBA D-League to finish their commitments. Coach Tab doesn’t want the team to lose its tenacity. The guys are in shape so coach Tab wants to keep that edge. We’re bringing in two new guys, Baser (Amer) and Prince (Rivero), so there will be some adjustments to be made.”

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International Basketball

Prior to any big Asian tournament, the Indian basketball teams across all categories (seniors, U16, U18) are required to play a qualifying tournament called the South Asian Basketball Association (SABA)  qualifiers in order to progress  to the main event.

This qualifying tournament doesn’t really pose any major challenges for the Indians as they have the likes of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives to tackle.

However, for the first team, this year, India were left  embarrassed as they couldn’t even send an U16 team for the qualifiers that were held in Dhaka last week because of a power struggle at the Basketball Federation of India (BFI).

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Former NBA player found positive on doping in Greece (May 23, 2015)
Agence France-Presse [ Source: Interaksyon ]

International Basketball

AEK Athens’ British center Pops Mensah-Bonsu has tested positive for amphetamine use by the National Anti-Doping Council, his Greek Basketball League club announced Friday.

The team said it will wait for a second test before deciding on the 31-year-old former NBA player’s fate for the club.

Mensah-Bonsu tested positive after a league game between AEK and Trikala on April 18 at the Athens Olympic indoor stadium.

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Michail Lountzis (GRE) - 2014 U18 European Championship

ATHENS (2015 FIBA U19 World Championship) - Michail Lountzis has had quite a start to 2015 and now the 16-year-old is being given a chance to play against the best of the world at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.

The Panathinaikos playmaker was included in head coach Ilias Papatheodorou's 18-man preliminary squad ahead of training camp for the U19 Worlds, which will take place in Heraklion (Crete), Greece from 27 June-5 July.

Lountzis was captain of Greece's U16 national team last summer and averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals at the European Championship. Shortly before the tournament, he signed a five-year deal with Panathinaikos, and he made his Greek league professional debut on January 15, 2015. He even debuted in the Euroleague in a playoff game on April 14, 2015 against Barcelona.

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