Gilas Pilipinas’ first two games in the Fiba Asia World Cup Qualifiers will be a tall order, with the Filipinos facing Japan first in front of what could be hostile territory before playing a full-force Chinese Taipei.
The 4,000-seat Kamazawa gymnasium in Tokyo has been sold out, guaranteeing that the Filipinos won’t have the hometown support they usually get when Gilas and Team Nippon slug it out on Nov. 24.
Three nights later, the Filipinos will host the Taiwanese traveling to Manila for the game at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao with Chinese Taipei likely to be reinforced by Quincy Davis III.
Davis III had earlier been ruled out because of an injury, but a Fiba.com report on Tuesday said that the 6-foot-10 naturalized center had recovered well enough and was again part of the Taiwanese’s 24-man pool.
Team Philippines will be spearheaded by Andray Blatche and reigning four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and will go into both games slight favorites before clashing with Australia in February.