FIBA Asia: Gilas Pilipinas takes on dangerous Japan

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After a one day break, the Gilas Pilipinas faces Japan Monday at the start of the second elimination round of the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship
at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Despite the defeat to Chinese-Taipei (79-84) Saturday, the Philippine squad settled for second place in Group A (2-1) behind the Chinese (3-0). It enters the next round with a 1-1 slate because its win against Saudi Arabia no longer counts.

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Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said the team must sweep all its remaining three matches. After Japan, the host team will be up against Qatar on Tuesday and
Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Reyes remained unfazed, saying what is most important for him is the last phase of the eliminations, which will determine the top eight teams that will qualify for the quarterfinal round.
“For me, what is important is the next round. We have to play much better now if we have to make it to the quarterfinals,” said Reyes.
Gilas Pilipinas also to pray that Qatar and Chinese-Taipei, the current leader in Group E with identical 2-0 win-loss slate drop a game so that Gilas Pilipinas can
emerge as the top team in the group.
Only four teams from Groups E and F will advance into the knockout quarterfinal round. The top team in Group E will face the no. 4 team in Group F, which will probably be Kazakhstan, since Iran, South Korea and China are expected to occupy the top three slots in their groups.
Gilas Pilipinas hopes to land one of three slots allotted for Asia in the 2014 FIBA-World Championship in Madrid, Spain.
Aside from host Philippines (1-1) and Chinese-Taipei (2-0), also
making it to the second round are Qatar (2-0), Japan (1-1), Hong Kong
(0-2) and Jordan (0-2). In Group F are Iran (2-0), Kazakhstan (2-0),
Bahrain (1-1), Korea (1-1), India (0-2) and China (0-2).
Other games today feature Qatar against Jordan at 10:30 a.m., Iran against India at 12:45 p.m. and Chinese-Taipei against Hong Kong.

China faces Kazakhstan at 5:45 p.m. and South Korea battles Bahrain in the last game at 10:30 p.m.

Malaysia faces Thailand in the lone game at 6 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium

FRANK CALAPRE

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