South East Asian Basketball Association Champions Cup; RP Plays Malaysia in Opener Today
Byline: Rey C. Lachica
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Harbour Centre-Philippine team left the Philippines brimming with confidence but arrived here yesterday perplexed.
"We came here not knowing how strong our rivals are,"said coach Junel Baculi. "We don't know whether they have imports or not."
It's like facing blank wall, Baculi said.
All Baculi can assure is that Harbour-RP team will be facing Southeast Asian Games rival Petronas-Malaysia in the opening game of a twinbill at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. in Manila).
Clashing in the other game is the host squad which will be pitted against Vietnam, where basketball has yet to gain a foothold and where football is the national passion.
Baculi probably has a reason to be a bit worried.
"The boys are quite tired," he said, noting that trip from Manila yesterday morning took almost seven hours counting the one-hour stopover in Singapore. Add the two hours spent on the road because of the traffic jam.
Despite their ordeal, the coach ordered the team to do a slight drill after an hour of rest to shake off their weariness.
Unlike Baculi, Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero, who bankrolled the training and participation of the team, expressed confidence about the country's chances in the four-country tournament. …