FIBA: Gilas Pilipinas on the lookout for automatic Olympic slot

Paul Lintag on Aug 28, 2019 10:21 PM
FIBA: Gilas on the lookout for automatic Olympic slot
For our side of the world, the no. 1 Asian team at the end of the World Championships, outside of Olympic host Japan, will get a spot in next year’s Summer Games. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

The 2019 FIBA World Cup is a pivotal tournament for Gilas Pilipinas in a lot of ways.

For one, it’s a chance for the national team to once again prove it belongs in the world stage.

It’s the second consecutive appearance for Gilas Pilipinas in the World Championships. Five years ago they scored a breakthrough win.

Now, the marching orders for Gilas is to advance to the next round.

Second, the 2019 FIBA World Cup is the first, perhaps even the best, of multiple chances to book an elusive ticket to the Olympics.

The Naismith Trophy is not the only prize at stake in the World Cup. The top finishers per continent will advance to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics regardless of final placing.

For our side of the world, the no. 1 Asian team at the end of the World Championships, outside of Olympic host Japan, will get a spot in next year’s Summer Games.

“Iniisip namin yun,” head coach Yeng Guiao said on the Olympic slot on the line in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

“It’s unlikely but just in case yung China hindi rin maka-pasok sa next round, then we have to compete for the next placing in Asia, baka maka-lusot tayo. That’s also at the back of their minds,” coach Yeng added.

By virtue of being World Cup hosts, China got to pretty much pick its group.

Naturally, the Chinese got into a bracket favorable to them, giving them a supposedly easier time to get into the next round and in effect, get a better finish.

At full strength, China is still arguably the best true Asian team in the field and are the squad to beat for that Olympic spot.

“As of now, very have very little control of that and tingin ko advantage na ang China dahil magaan ang grupo nila,” Guiao said.

“But it is still an objective that’s worth pursuing,” coach Yeng added of the Olympic slot.

 

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