The Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Japan Akatsuki Five at 7:30 P.M. (PHI time) on February 25, 2018 in the Mall of Asia Arena.
Gilas are looking to make a quick bounce back after losing against the Australia Boomers few days ago while the Akatsuki Five still searching for its first victory when the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers resumes tonight.
Jayson Castro William, Jio Jalalon and Troy Rosario will be joining back the Philippines’ Men National Team after got sidelined in their game in Melbourne due to their respective injuries.
“Medyo okay na (ankle ko),” Castro said after practice on the eve of their matchup that tips off at 7 p.m. “Actually this is my first time na makapag-scrimmage, so okay naman. May pain pero kaya naman.”
Without Castro the famous dribble-drive play strategy of Gilas got jeopardize. Both Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas did their best to execute the offense designed by coach Chot Reyes but the Castro’s familiarity and experience of it is inreplaceable.
Andray Blatche’s third straight performance in this tournament still isn’t that spectacular considering that he’s the foreign hire player to boost the winning chances of Gilas. However, Chot Reyes is looking at the intangibles and the presence of Blatche still making an impact with the team.
— Chot Reyes (@coachot) February 24, 2018
For the team Japan on the other hand, they’re still win-less and had another homecourt upset against the team Chinese-Taipei last February 22. Looking at the bright side of that loss, Japan found a steady hand from three-point land in Naoto Tsuji.
Tsuji converted eight three-pointers with 61.5% accuracy where he single handedly carried his team late in the final quarter.