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Thailand parades naturalized cagers


Reigning champion Indonesia isn’t the only team that will parade naturalized players in the men’s basketball competition of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.

Thailand is also expected to be a threat to Gilas Pilipinas’ redemption bid as it parades three naturalized players in Tyler Lamb, Moses Morgan and Freddie Lish in the biennial meet set to kick off on Tuesday.

Lamb, Moses and Lish have been playing with the Thais since 2015 and are still fresh from competing in the FIB Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers.

A former University of California Los Angeles and Long Beach standout, the 6-foot-5 Lamb is a Thai-American who served as an import in the Asean Basketball League.

He led the Thais to the silver medal of the 30th SEA Games, where the Filipinos emerged victorious.

The 31-year-old Morgan, on the other hand, is a 6-foot-6 swingman who averaged an impressive 20.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers.

But the most experienced among them is the 35-year-old Lish, a 5-foot-8 playmaker who has been serving as Thailand’s chief facilitator in the international arena.

With these players, Thailand, together with Indonesia, are favored to give the Filipinos a run for their money in this event that serves as their redemption tour following a sorry setback in the previous edition in Hanoi last year.

Adding to the Filipinos’ woes is the decision of the organizers to do away with the traditional format where the top team after the single-round eliminations will automatically win the gold medal.

Instead, competing teams were divided into two groups with the top two teams from each bracket advancing to the crossover semifinals with the winners colliding in the gold medal match.

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