Former Gilas coach Toroman still sees PH among Asia’s elite
Though Gilas Pilipinas went through hoops just to form a competitive line-up, a familiar face still regards the PH national team among the elites in Asia.
The Gilas 1.0 mentor and now-Jordan head coach Rajko Toroman said that the Philippines is still a top contender for the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship set in Changsha, China later this month.
Though he expects the new faces to make their mark in the first international stint, it may not be enough to give the Philippines a slot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“With (Andray) Blatche and the new guys in Terrence Romeo and (Calvin) Abueva, for sure, they have a chance for the medal,” he said. “If it will be enough for the championship, we will see.”
The Serbian coach thinks that powerhouse China and Iran are still the teams to beat.
“The contender will be China because they are the home team and Yi Jianlian will play for them, and the players have the experience.”
“Next is Iran because for eight years, the same players are there. They are very strong and they showed it in the Jones Cup that they are big contenders for the championship. Then are the Philippines and Korea. After that, there are five to six teams that are on the same level. Somebody can surprise like Japan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Chinese Taipei.”