Gilas Pilipinas going for gold in the 2017 Jones Cup

Paul Lintag on Jul 12, 2017 08:28 PM
Gilas Pilipinas going for gold in the 2017 Jones Cup
"Nandoon na kami so might as well do everything to win." --- Kiefer Ravena.

Even if the 2017 Jones Cup is only the first step in Gilas Pilipinas' grand plan of returning to the World Cup and has actually nothing to do for the country in terms of the new FIBA qualification process, you can bet everything that the national team is going for the kill.

As the Chooks-to-Go backed Gilas Pilipinas prepares for the annual tournament in Taiwan starting Saturday, everyone on the team has growth and progress as a top priority.

And also winning. Winning is always a priority.

"First goal namin is to win talaga. Then the second goal is alam naman natin na mga bata yung pinaadala, mga cadets, so next goal is yung experience tsaka exposure namin," RR Pogoy said Wednesday during the team's official send-off for the Jones Cup.

"Pinaka-importante is yung manalo ka pa rin. Nandoon na kami so might as well do everything to win, [it's] an opportunity for us to get that championship and keep it here sa Pilipinas," Kier Ravena added.

Although Gilas didn't see action in the 2016 Jones Cup, the Philippines is the tournament's defending champion after Mighty Sports took the title last year.

The last time Gilas actually won the Jones Cup was back in 2012. LA Tenorio was the MVP five years ago.

Regardless if the Taipei joust is only seen as a "stepping stone," Gilas Pilipinas is pretty pumped to win the entire thing as with every other tournament the national team will be set to compete in.

"All I can say is whatever tournament it is, we'll give it 100 percent and yung effort namin nandun lagi," shooter Von Pessumal said.

"We're always gonna play to win," he added.

The Philippines will open the 2017 Jones Cup against Canada on Saturday.

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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