Chan's mentor confident of ward’s stint with Gilas

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Thursday, July 31, 2014


THE Philippine men’s basketball team has barely a month of fine tuning before they fly to Spain for the Fiba World Cup on August 30 to September 14, and Bacolod-born cage Jeffrei Allan "Jeff" Chan is among the Gilas called to render national duty.

Chan, a three-point artist, started his playing years at University of St. La Salle from grade school up to high school under coach Troy Sarabia, a former Stinger himself.

“He [Chan] began playing in his elementary years, entered high school and first played for the aspirants’ division then in the juniors. He remained with the Stingers until his college days but it was shortlived as he wore the green and white uniform for only a semester,” Sarabia said.

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During his junior year, Chan was selected to represent Western Visayas in the Palarong Pambansa and was also a member of the champion team that won the regional Adidas Streetball Challenge.

“Jeff tried out with Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles next summer but never made it to the final cut. He also tried out with the San Beda Red Lions but was only good for Team B,” Sarabia disclosed.

He added that Chan, anticipating a slim opportunity of making it in Manila, asked for his help to enroll at USLS.

“Since classes had already started there was no more scholarship available. I had to pay for his tuition fee,” Sarabia explained.
When the University Games was held here in 1999, Chan caught the eye of Manila-based schools – particularly Far Eastern University.

“When FEU saw Jeff, they quickly looked for me and talked on a possible offer. With such an opportunity for him, we didn’t hesitate to give Jeff the nod,” said Sarabia, who now describes his former ward as one of Gilas Pilipinas' weapons.

“His foundation and the experience he gained all throughout his career made him a great player. I’m confident that Jeff will make good in the national team,” he said.

Gilas is in Group B of the Fiba World Cup with powerhouses Argentina, Croatia, Greece, Puerto Rico, and Senegal.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 31, 2014.

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