Gilas tackles Thailand in Fiba Bahrain qualifiers
MANILA, Philippines — Nine months after a rousing start, Gilas Pilipinas will resume its campaign in the Fiba Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers on Friday against Thailand in a bubble environment in Manama, Bahrain.
The Filipinos are coming off a 100-70 drubbing of Indonesia last Feb. 23 in Jakarta and are hoping to pick up where they left off.
Despite being favored to win, Gilas cannot afford to let its guard down against the Thais, who put up a gallant stand in a 93-86 loss to South Korea in the first qualifying window. Korea pulled out of the upcoming window due to health concerns brought about by the pandemic.
Thai-American guard Tyler Lamb will be a marked man against Gilas.
The Philippines, which plays Thailand twice with the second meeting happening on Nov. 30, has a young pool of players led by Kobe Paras, Angelo Kouame and Dave Ildefonso in the absence of PBA players.
Veteran head coach Jong Uichico will call the shots for the Philippine team, which will also have brothers Javi and Juan Gomez de Liaño, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, Dwight Ramos, Jaydee Tungcab, Will Navarro and Kenmark Cariño.
PBA draftees picked in last year’s special draft in Mike and Matt Nieto, Rey Suerte, Isaac Go and Allyn Bulanadi, who are currently on loan to the national team, are also part of the pool for the second window.
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