Gilas Pilipinas needs stars to align to keep Paris Olympics ticket within reach
Gilas Pilipinas’ window to make the Paris Olympic Games is shrinking, its chances significantly dented by Japan’s comeback win over higher-ranked Finland in the 2023 Fiba World Cup last Sunday.
Things look even tougher when it comes to surviving Group A after back-to-back losses. The mathematics say that the Filipinos would at least beat the Italians by 12 points—13 to steer clear from complications—on top of a Dominican Republic win over Angola in order to stay in the running for a spot in the second round.
Even with those conditions met, Gilas will also need Australia to get back on track and defeat cohost Japan and see China, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iran stay winless by Wednesday’s end.
Only a sweep of those scenarios would send the Philippines into the second round, which assures the program a Top 16 finish and the title of best Asian finisher in the showcase that will run until Sept. 10.
One misstep would complicate Gilas’ bid. A more difficult path would send all Asian teams to the classification phase which would be another race—this time, to rack up the most wins by the tournament’s end.
If Gilas misses out on the lone Asian quota dangled in this World Cup, it could still go for the one that will be at stake in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the coming months.
But even that has a requirement. Gilas will need to avoid finishing in the bottom five of this edition of the global showcase.
The Philippines finished dead last in the previous World Cup held in China and was only able to compete in the OQT held in Belgrade, Serbia, thanks to New Zealand’s pullout.