Smart Gilas Pilipinas is the men’s national basketball team of the Republic of the Philippines. The men’s national basketball team program is spearheaded by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Manny V. Pangilinan and Executive Director Noli Eala and supported by SBP Vice—Chairman Ricky P. Vargas and telecommunications giant Smart Communications, Inc. The team is composed of the best Filipino cagers to come out of collegiate basketball here and overseas.
Project Director and Head Coach of Smart Gilas Pilipinas is Serbian Rajko Toroman. Coach Rajko is the man who steered Iran to the 2007FIBA—Asia Championships title in Tokushima, Japan, and a first ever Olympics stint in basketball. Now, Toroman is expected to lead the Smart Gilas to qualify for the biggest stage in sports, the Olympics. He will be assisted by long—time collegiate basketball coaches Jude Roque, Djalma Arnedo and Allan Gregorio. Team Manager Frankie Lim and Special Assistant to the Project Director Butch Antonio will manage and supervise the team. Coach Jimbo Saret and Albert Rolle will take care of the strength and conditioning program.
The top collegiate playerswere picked to comprise the Smart Gilas’ roster. The team boasts of a balance of brainy point guards, excellent shooting guards and small forwards, and quick and agile post players.
The remarkable point guard line—up consists of team captain and former Ateneo Blue Eagle Chris Tiu, co—captain and FEU spitfire Mark Barroca, and the sweet--‐shooting former La Salle King Green Archer JV Casio. Leading the cast of shooters are UAAP stalwarts Dylan Ababou of UST, and JR Cawaling and Mac Baracael of FEU, NCAA gunners RJ Jazul and Rey Guevarra of Letran, and Fil--Ams Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter. The tall frontline is led by the 7—foot standout from Cebu City Greg Slaughter of the University of Vizayas, along with Western Kentucky’s Japeth Aguilar, San Sebastian’s Jason Ballesteros, FEU’s Aldrech Ramos and Ateneo’s Rabeh Al--Hussaini. Candidate for Filipino Naturalization 6’11” Marcus Douthit completes the cast.
The team has had a busy training schedule this past year and a half. It won the very first tournament in joined, the ASEAN CBO Basketball Tournament in Pinggoo, China in December 2008. Part of the program included training and a series of tune—up games in Belgrade, Serbia, in Las Vegas, USA and in Tokyo, Japan from March through May this year. This young team managed to finish 5th in the recently concluded FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia. They also placed 3rd in the very strong 21st Dubai Basketball Invitational Tournament behind Asian powerhouses Iran and Lebanon. The team just recently won the Smart Philippine Invitational Challenge by beating Jordan, the 3rd ranked basketball team in Asia.
The Smart--Gilas RP team, which is under the 3—year program set by the SBP, will represent the country in international tournaments in the coming years, with the ultimate goal of qualifying in the 2012 London Olympics, and reclaiming basketball supremacy in Asia.
|Name||No.||Date of Birth||Position||Height(cm)||Weight(kg)|
|Japeth Paul Cabrera Aguilar||F||205cm||88|