GILAS Pilipinas national team considered reigning champion China, Iran and host South Korea as biggest threats when the Philippines aims for gold medal in the 17th Asian Games basketball competitions in Incheon beginning on September 20.
National team assistant coach Josh Reyes, son of Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes, also believes that Philippine team is also considered by the other 10 teams as one of the teams to beat in the quadrennial meet.
“We are looking at China and Iran as big contenders for the gold but we’re not counting out South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Taiwan,” the younger Reyes told The Manila Times in a phone interview yesterday. “Other countries also considered us [Philippines] as a huge threat too.”
Reyes also said that the only goal of the Philippine team is to win the gold medal following their impressive showing in the FIBA World Cup last week. The Philippines won over Senegal in its last game but failed to qualify the next round due to a 1-4 win-loss card in preliminary round.
“That’s our goal ever since to win the gold in Asian Games. The morale of the players became higher after their performance in the world cup,” he said. “We are also expecting naturalized player Marcus Douthit to get back in his usual competitive shape just in time the Asian Games.”
The 6-foot-11 Douthit replaced Andray Blatche as Gilas naturalized player in the line-up after the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee denied the latter’s inclusion in the line-up due to the lack of three-year residency. Also in the team are Paul Lee, June Mar Fajardo, Ranidel De Ocampo, Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Japeth Aguilar, Gabe Norwood and Gary David.