Sat. May 25th, 2024


Scottie Thompson and Kai Sotto are again in harness and Gilas Pilipinas is lastly at full energy.

However nationwide coach Chot Reyes is nicely conscious that the returning pair have some catching as much as do if the Philippines desires to realize its purpose within the Fiba World Cup: Win the 2 video games that would open a path to the Paris Olympics.

And Reyes isn’t hiding the place he plans to get these two wins. “Numerous our efforts are actually poured into making ready for the Dominican Republic and Angola. These are the 2 video games we actually need to get. However after all, we’re nonetheless going to speak about Italy,” Reyes mentioned on Tuesday.

The Samahang Basketbol (SBP) ng Pilipinas, in a Philippine Sportswriters’ Affiliation Discussion board look on Tuesday, weighed in on the importance of these two victories.

“Our greatest World Cup efficiency was with a win in 2014, in opposition to Senegal,” SBP president Al Panlilio mentioned. “We [did not win] something in [the last World Cup in China]. I’m hoping we are able to win two video games. If we try this, we get to the following spherical and doubtlessly actually play for a spot within the Olympics.”

A ticket to Paris 2024 will likely be accessible for the very best Asian finisher right here, which suggests a workforce that will get out of the group stage can have a respectable shot at skipping more durable qualifiers forward.

Scottie Thompson—FIBA.BASKETBALL

However beating the Dominican Republic and Angola would require a near-flawless efficiency from Gilas.

The Dominican Republic has named NBA star Karl-Anthony Cities of Minnesota to its squad.

The return of Thompson and Sotto, nevertheless, ought to bump up the Philippines’ probabilities.

“We’re lastly full. We now have 16 guys in observe,” Reyes mentioned. “Scottie appears OK, however I’m positive each of them will not be but in hundred % basketball aggressive form,” he went on. “Hopefully, now we have 10 days to have the ability to make up for that.”

Hardest group foe

Justin Brownlee, who will yield the naturalized participant’s spot to Jordan Clarkson for the World Cup, mentioned having a giant man like AJ Edu additionally helps the Filipinos’ trigger in opposition to the Cities-led Caribbean nation.

“AJ has proven an incredible potential, however I assume now we have to attend and see. I’m very assured in him going in opposition to anyone although,” Brownlee mentioned. “He’s confirmed that he’s an incredible competitor and that he’ll do something to win.”

Gilas Pilipinas can also be bunched with powerhouse Italy within the group stage. The world No. 10 Italians have been red-hot of their 5 preparatory video games thus far.

“We noticed they launched their remaining 12 (on Monday) so we’re already within the technique of compiling and breaking down the person profiles,” Reyes mentioned. “We all know loads about these gamers—Luigi Datome, Nicolo Melli, and naturally Simone Fontecchio, who performs within the NBA. That’s a really robust workforce [and] that’s one thing we clearly need to take a great, onerous, lengthy have a look at.  “Thankfully, they (Italians) are our third sport,” he added.


Clarkson, the Utah Jazz star within the NBA, will carry the brunt of Gilas’ load—and this basketball-crazed nation’s goals.

“[He] undoubtedly [provides] renewed power in observe,” Reyes mentioned. “Not that we don’t have very energetic practices. We’ve all the time had very high-energy, high-quality practices, however clearly, the arrival of Jordan put an added layer into that. I’m very comfortable.”

With 10 days to go earlier than the event opens, Reyes refused to gauge the workforce’s readiness.

“I’ve lengthy thrown a scale away, as a result of there was a plan. There was a really detailed plan that was in place, however a whole lot of issues occurred as everyone knows. And like I’ve mentioned again and again, this has been an train actually in adaptability and resilience and agility greater than the rest,” he mentioned. —WITH REPORTS FROM LANCE AGCAOILI, ANGEL B. DUKHA III 

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