Road to Rio not an easy one for Gilas | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Road to Rio not an easy one for Gilas

/ 11:51 PM June 29, 2016

GILAS Pilipinas and the Turkish team that will compete in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set here July 5 to 10 arrived in the country Tuesday night.

The two teams were on the same flight. They also boarded the plane from the same Turkish airport which was bombed hours later by terrorists.

Gilas had a stopover in Istanbul from Bologna, Italy, where they had a tuneup game with the Italians.


The two teams were extremely lucky to escape the bombing.


It had been reported that the death toll could reach 50, with hundreds more seriously injured.

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National coach Tab Balwin has just named the final 12-man line-up that will fight for the lone slot in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Bracketed in Group B, the 28th ranked Gilas Pilipinas will open its bid on July 5 against fifth-ranked France, which is bannered by NBA vets Tony Parker and Boris Diaw of the San Antonio Spurs and Eurobasket MVP Nando de Colo.

On July 6, the Filipinos face New Zealand, which is ranked 21 by Fiba. The Tall Blacks, as the Kiwis are known, are likewise formidable after finishing 15th in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. They will be playing without Oklahoma City Thunder center Steve Adams, though.

On the other hand, Group A is composed of Senegal (ranked 31st), Canada (26th) and Turkey (8th). Should Gilas make it to the semis, they will likely face Canada and Turkey .


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Indeed, the Philippines will face tremendous odds in the upcoming tournament this July. We are heavy underdogs and will be needing the full support of our home crowd. Calvin Abueva and LA Tenorio have been dropped from the lineup and placed as reserve because according to reports, Baldwin put priority on taller cagers. It is worth noting that replacements Ryan Reyes and Ray Parks are only slightly taller than the two.

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HOOPVINE: There’s no feedback from Tenorio but Abueva is said to be terribly hurt from being scrapped from the team which he said he has served for years… Manny Pacquiao was unable to come to Manila to attend the orientation session in the senate… The Pacman was in Gensan looking after the construction of his new mansion and another edifice, a church if I’m not mistaken.

TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas, Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Rio de Janeiro Olympics

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