PH wheelchair dribblers battle Chinese hosts
HANGZHOU—The Philippines has had a string of success against China in basketball recently.
The men’s national wheelchair squad will try to extend that run on Thursday, when it collides with the host country at the start of the Asian Para Games basketball tournament at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium.
It’s not going to be easy replicating victories by Gilas Pilipinas over Team Dragon in the World Cup and in the Asian Games.
But the Pilipinas Warriors will give it a shot.
“Admittedly, it will be a hard and tough match for us. If we can defend well against the outside shooting of the Chinese, we may have a chance against them,” said coach Vernon Perea.
The two teams clash at 4:15 p.m.
While Perea concedes, it will be tough to keep up with China’s shooters, he said “we can connect with our inside passes because I believe that our players can battle the Chinese on even terms in and around the basket.”
The wheelchair squad earned its trip here after finishing third in the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation Asia-Oceania Championships last May in Suphanburi, Thailand, behind Kuwait and Thailand.
This success was followed by a pair of silvers in the men’s 3×3 and 5×5 competitions of the Cambodia Asean Para Games a month later.
In the buildup to the Hangzhou event, Perea’s charges captured the bronze medal in the Yutaka Nakamura Asian Dream Cup International Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Japan last July.
The Philippines is also coming off a morale-boosting tuneup match with Chinese-Taipei, which the Filipinos won, 42-36.