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Barrios: Ready to host

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios said yesterday that the country is ready for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship slated May 12 to 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

According to Barrios, the federation already made final arrangements for the tournament, from the venue, to the hotels – Holiday Inn Manila Galleria – to security and transportation of the seven participating nations, and five from the juniors’ team.

“All bases are covered and we are ready for the SEABA,” said Barrios. “We’re expecting that participating teams to arrive two-three days before the competition and everything is prepared.”

Aside from players and officials from the participating teams, Barrios said that expected to arrive are officials from the SEABA, led by its secretary-general Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock.

The national team, under coach Chot Reyes, is preparing for the SEABA, which serves as the qualifier for the FIBA Asia Cup in August in Lebanon. The top 14 teams will advance in the home-and-away Asian Championships – the new format of FIBA – starting November.

Aside from the Philippines, other countries seeing action in the SEABA are Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore Malaysia and Vietnam, while in the junior’s division are Batang Pilas Pilipinas (to be handled by coach Mike Oliver), Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The ticket prices are P950.00 for Patron A, P900.00 for Patron B, P880.00, for Patron C, P550.00 for BOX VIP, P450.00 for BOX Regular, P200.00 for Upper Box, and P100.00 for General Admission. (WG)