The fourth FIBA Asia Cup will kick off on Friday in Tokyo, Japan and our very own Gilas Pilipinas will be thrust into the action on the first day wherein they are set to face the team from China. Gilas Pilipinas belongs to Group A selection during the elimination round and after Friday’s game, they are expected to go head-to-head against Lebanon. For the next couple of days, they will be facing Uzbekistan and Macau.
The National team is hoping to overcome these opponents that they are scheduled to meet in an effort to reach the Final Eight. If they do make it to the next round, Gilas Pilipinas will be facing the qualifying teams from Group B.
Gilas Pilipinas are already familiar with a few of the other competing teams for the upcoming Asian Cup such as Taiwan, Japan, Iran, and Lebanon, because these teams also competed in the recent Jones Cup in which the Nationals won the gold medal.
On Wednesday, majority of the Gilas team will be flying to Tokyo in preparation for the series of competition. Sonny Thoss’ flight to Tokyo, however, is scheduled on Thursday.
After their recent successful run in the 2012 William Jones Cup, Coach Chot Reyes is optimistic about their chances in the Asia Cup. When asked about the short period of time it took until they were thrust into another highly competitive tournament, Reyes believed it will benefit the team and its training. “It’s a good a preparation for us,” the coach reveals.
As of now, it is not clear whether China will be fielding in their Olympic Team or Team B for the said match on Friday. One thing is for sure, Filipino basketball fans will have a lot to look forward to. TNT’s Jared Dillinger is also back on the helm as a national player.