The Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the team Japan at 6:00 P.M. on November 24, 2017 in Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Ground Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan.
After missing to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup here in the Philippines the automatic qualification to the tournament also goes along with it. Gilas Pilipinas is in a journey once more to return to FIBA big boys league.
Their first assignment will be against team Japan which they have defeated five straight times. The last time Pinoy basketball team lost to Japanese squad was more than a decade ago or during the FIBA Asia Challenge 2014.
Gilas Pilipinas is currently ranked by FIBA in Asia as number 5 and number 30 in the World while team Japan ranked number 8 in Asia and number 50 in the World.
However, our beloved Gilas boys should not take this game just like a walk-in-the-park as they’ll be playing in front of Japanese basketball faithfuls. That’s because of the new FIBA format called home-and-away.
Andray Blatche will return as Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized player. Blatche was last seen donning Philippines men’s basketball team uniform was last 2017 SEABA Championship where he helped Gilas to secure the trophy and the ticket going to 2017 FIBA Asia Cup held in Lebanon.
Long time member and one of Gilas top scorers Terrence Romeo won’t be joining the team as he is currently nursing an injury.
Kevin Alas and Keifer Ravena will help Jayson Castro William controlling the tempo of their offense while Gabe Norwood will be asked to shutdown opponent’s high scorer.
Japeth Aguilar and Troy Rosario will be the new “Thin Tower” version. Jun Mar Fajardo will keep the post busy and make situation to attract wing defenders to give Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy and Allein Maliksi a good look to the basket from behind the three-point line.
Last but not the least, coach Chot Reyes added the usual dependable Calvin Abueva. If you’re not an Alaska Aces fan then watching him in PBA is so irritating but he’s with the national team everyone will definitely love him.