FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas Pilipinas to make most of closed-door game vs. Qatar
Paul Lintag on Sep 16, 2018 06:44 PM
"It's a situation we put ourselves in [closed door] and unfortunately, it is what it is, we're playing at home but our countrymen can't be in the crowd cheering us on," Gabe Norwood said ahead of the rather historic outing. (FIBA)
Gilas Pilipinas has played in packed gyms before, they know what's that about.
Team Pilipinas practically has a home-court advantage everywhere they go, which is a testament to basketball's popularity in the country and Filipino's enduring passion to the sport as fans are willing to great lengths to see the national team play.
However, Monday's clash against Qatar in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers is a whole new situation for Gilas.
The Philippines will have a home game and yet fans are not going to be allowed inside the Araneta Coliseum. The closed-door clash against Qatar is a direct punishment to Gilas after the unfortunate brawl with the Boomers back in July.
"It's a situation we put ourselves in [closed door] and unfortunately, it is what it is, we're playing at home but our countrymen can't be in the crowd cheering us on," Gabe Norwood said ahead of the rather historic outing.
"It should be an interesting situation for both teams, it is what it is, we just gotta make the most of it," he added.
More than the closed-door game though, there's more pressing issues that Gilas has to deal with against Qatar.
The Philippines is currently on a two-game skid in the Asian Qualifiers and while Gilas is still in third place in Group F with a 4-3 record, Japan (3-4) is coming in hot with a three-game streak and is picking momentum to make a play for a top-3 spot.
The clash against Qatar is the start of a three-game home stretch for Team Pilipinas and it's imperative for the national team to get back on their winning ways.
"It's big for us, we got three home games in row. We gotta take advantage of this game," Norwood said.
"At the end of the day we gotta take care of our business, take care of what we cane control. This one is a big one for us, Qatar is coming off a rough game I'm sure they have a lot to prove," he added.
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