After World Cup berth, Gilas Pilipinas aims for Fiba Asia gold medal

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Smart Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—After punching a ticket to Spain, the Philippine team is hoping to have the gold medals dangling around their necks on Sunday night.

The Filipinos are not just stopping at a trip to the Basketball World Cup next year, they want the distinction the country used to hold, as Asia’s number one.

“I told them, ‘congratulations, we have achieved our objective, now our dream is at hand,'” said head coach Chot Reyes at an emotional post-game press conference.

“Our objective was to win a medal but our dream was to win it all. We’re going all out. They have to carry us out of the court tomorrow,” he added.

The Filipinos arranged a face-off with Asian powerhouse Iran, who blasted Chinese-Taipei en route to the finals, on Sunday for the Fiba Asia title.

The last time the country won the Asian championships was such a long time ago—28 years to be exact—that Fiba Asia was still called the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC).

And to carry the Philippine team to that spot again would be the ultimate prize.

“We will try our best to win the championships. We want to be defending champions,” said Ranidel De Ocampo, who hit a crucial triple to lift the Philippines, in Filipino.

Marcus Douthit, re-injuring his leg midway the second quarter, is unlikely to suit up for the Philippines in the finale scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena, but wounded De Ocampo and Marc Pingris vowed to push past pain.

“Huling laro na ito. Nung na-injury ako, anim na laro pa, sabi ko sa sarili ko anim na laro nalang yan. Eh eto, isa nalang, ngayon pa ba ako susuko? [This is the last game. The last time I got injured I played through six games. Why would I give up now]?” De Ocampo said.

“Laban pa rin. Arcoxia lang yan. [We'll still fight. I'll just drink Arcoxia],” added Pingris.

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  • Phoinex

    I wish we had Greg Slaughter on our line-up. He can give boost to our offense/defense in the center. They need it to give Douhit and Japet a breather.

    • walapadintatalosaalaska

      i wish we have more naturalized players like qatar, then for sure we’ll have the championship.

  • Joey Sanchez

    setup plays. drop pass to japeth for a montrous slam dunk. open man, penetrate, outside pass to waiting setup 3-point shot on chan, fonacier, de ocampo, norwood. screen alapag, castro for 3-point shot. 1+1 help defense on hadadi, primary and secondary defense can block shot from 7’2″ center. no post-up for him; help defense to steal the ball from him while setting up for a basket.

  • Joey Sanchez

    let japeth penetrate; alley hoop. pingris defense, rebound and 1. rain of treys chan, alapag, castro, norwood, david, larry, de ocampo, tenorio and fonacier, blanket defense, clog the lane. fast break run the court! pinas will be jamming!

  • Lemuel Vargas

    Pertaining to the Iranians..

    Go. go. Gilas!!! Let those treys come like water!!! (the only caveat is let those treys go inside the basket w/c will require composure and not collapsing again on the 4th quarter..

  • ofwme2807

    it’s one big psychological advantage that we can capitalize, we are the host and we have the homecourt advantage…basing on law of averages, as hosts in the finals game, we have the momentum and advantage so go for it, this is our chance to bring home the Championship…go go go Gilas Pilipinas…mabuhay…

  • ofwme2807

    Gilas Pilipinas with no fear, big hearts, homecourt advantage and millions of fans and crowd support, will win against the fabled Iran basketball team tonight…just focus one more win to clinch the title and restore to the Philippines its long lost crown…go go go Gilas Pilipinas you’ve made us all proud….mabuhay…

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