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Crucial stretch

Nat’l 5 in must-win Fiba qualifier games vs Qatar, Kazakhstan
/ 05:06 AM February 20, 2019

The Philippine basketball team will bank on the memories of its historic run five years ago when it takes on Qatar this Thursday and Kazakhstan on Sunday in the Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.

Gabe Norwood, a member of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that made the 2014 World Cup in Spain, is thrilled that he could be a part of two historic teams.

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“I’ve been part of some great memories and some pretty bad ones,” he told the Inquirer, as he waxed nostalgic on the eve of their flight to Doha on Friday.

When asked to pick his favorite moment off the 2014 campaign, Norwood was at a loss.

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“A lot of the best memories were not even on the court: walking to the hotel, the little things,” Norwood said.

“The memories you make, the whole thing was just amazing. From winning here at home to qualifying to actually being in Spain. Those are some situations you really can’t [replicate],” he added.

Norwood, now 34, stressed it’s now his younger teammates’ turn to be at the forefront of forging new stories to share.

“I told them to just enjoy it, embrace it,” said the veteran forward, now on his fifth Philippine team stint

“[We’re] genuinely having fun and having a good time for whatever reason—I don’t know if it’s having Andray back. But there seems to be a good looseness about this team,” Norwood said.

The Philippines, running fourth in Group F at 5-5, will face Qatar at midnight (PH time) on Thursday at Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha.

Meanwhile, American singer and songwriter Jason Derulo will team up with retired NBA star Kobe Bryant when the World Cup 2019 draw is held on March 16 in Shenzhen, China.

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Bryant, a global ambassador of Fiba’s flagship competition, will carry out the draw while Derulo will perform his biggest hits.

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TAGS: Basketball, Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas
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