FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas lands at Group D with powerhouse Serbia
Paul Lintag on Mar 16, 2019 07:59 PM
Following the World Cup draw Saturday in Shenzen, the Philippines landed in Group D where the national team will face Italy, Angola, and Serbia. (FIBA)
Gilas Pilipinas’ first round in the 2019 FIBA World Cup has been known.
Following the World Cup draw Saturday in Shenzen, the Philippines landed in Group D where the national team will face Italy, Angola, and Serbia.
Serbia was second to Team USA in both the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Serbians are ranked as the fourth-best team in the world.
Meanwhile, Italy is ranked world no. 13 and finished with an 8-4 record in the European qualifiers. Angola, a traditional power in Africa, is ranked 39th in the world and finished the African qualifiers with a 9-3 record.
Gilas Pilipinas is ranked 31st in the world by FIBA and finished the Asian Qualifiers with a 7-5 record.
Group D will play in Foshan, China starting August 31.
“Still a tough group,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio said
“[But] all groups are hard as this is the top-32 of the World. Pero, laban lang,” he added.
The Philippines finished with a 1-4 record in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, failing to advance in the second round.
To surpass that, Gilas needs two wins at the very least. The Philippines also has an extra incentivve to do well in the World Cup as the top-ranked Asian team qualifies to the Olympics in 2020.
Australia and New Zealand are reclassified to the Oceania group so Gilas will be competing against China, South Korea, Iran, and Jordan for the Olympic slot. Japan is qualified as host.
China, who hosts the World Cup, is in Group A with Ivory Coast, Poland, and Venezuela.
South Korea is in Group B with Russia, Argentina, and Nigeria. Iran plays Spain, Puerto Rico, and Tunisia in Group C.
Jordan is in Group G with the Dominican Republic, Germany, and France while Japan is in Group E with Czech Republic, Turkey, and defending World and Olympic champion Team USA.
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