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The Thailand national basketball team is taking a page out of the Philippines with plans to tap at least one Thai-American for the Malaysia Southeast Asian Games this August.
Tyler Lamb, who plays for the ABL-leading Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions, said his agent and officials from Thailand’s basketball federation are working on necessary documents for him to be eligible not only for the SEA Games, but also in future international competitions.
“We’re working that out,” Lamb said after Hong Kong’s 83-61 win over Alab Pilipinas last Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna. “My agent is talking with (Thailand) coach (Tim) Lewis and the people over in Thailand to see all the guidelines, I don’t know what’s going on.
“I’m not really sure what my status is right now but it would be an honor to play for Thailand in the SEA Games,” added Lamb.
Lamb said he has already has a Thai passport, but it will be up for FIBA to declare him eligible or recommend Thailand to make him a naturalized player instead.
Thailand is taking big steps in hopes of ending the Philippines’ 28-year reign in the biennial meet. It played with Moses Morgan, another Thai-American who’s with the Saigon Heat in the ABL, during its campaign in the Super Kung Sheung Cup in Hong Kong.
The Thais have given the Gilas Cadets plenty of scare in their last two international meetings, beginning in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games when the Filipinos survived 80-75 in the semifinals after trailing by double digits.
In last year’s SEABA Cup, Gilas hit two late triples to nip the host Thais, 66-65, in their final elimination round meeting in Bangkok. The Nationals eventually repeated over Thailand, 97-80, in the final.