FIBA WORLD CUP: SMC stars get first shot as Gilas challenges Iran

Paul Lintag on Sep 13, 2018 06:56 AM
SMC stars get first shot as Gilas challenges Iran
Gilas continues its bid to return to the FIBA World Cup as round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers tip off, pitting the Philippines against Iran to start the action in the merged Group F.

Whether you will stick to Gilas Pilipinas or go with the simpler Team Pilipinas, the fact remains, a new era for the Philippine national team will officially start Thursday.

Gilas continues its bid to return to the FIBA World Cup as round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers tip off, pitting the Philippines against Iran to start the action in the merged Group F.

[Related: FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers: Chot Reyes steps aside as NT coach]

It's unclear whether or not coach Yeng Guiao will take over full time from coach Chot Reyes, who officially stepped down two days ago, but the fiery mentor gets his first crack in these Asian Qualifiers as his version of Team Pilipinas look to score a road win against the Iranians, a longtime rival of Filipinos in international play.

Coach Yeng's version of Team Pilipinas will feature Scottie Thompson, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Alex Cabagnot, Paul Lee, JP Erram, Marcio Lassiter, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood, Ian Sangalang, Christian Standhardinger, and Asi Taulava.

[Related: FIBA WORLD CUP: Scottie in, Greg out in Gilas vs. Iran]

After round 1, the Philippines sports a 4-2 record, with the two defeats coming from Australia.

Meanwhile, Iran has compiled a strong 5-1 mark and is in the middle of a five-game winning streak.

The merged Group F also include the Boomers, Japan, Qatar, and Kazakhstan.

To qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Gilas needs to finish at least third in its new group. The Philippines is currently third, one full game behind Australia and Iran.

A win against the Iranians on the road will be a huge boost to Gilas' World Cup bid without a doubt.

The Philippines-Iran match will tip off at 8:30 p.m. Manila time.

 

 

---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

Latest News