Gilas Pilipinas in tune-up games against PBA selection and Kazakhstan this week

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The Gilas Pilipinas national team will play two tune-up matches as it winds up training for the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship on August 1.        The nationals will play a PBA selection led by Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio, Alex Cabagnot and Jay Washington at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City and the Kazakhstan team at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The game against Kazakhstan will prove to be interesting, since Gilas Pilipinas could face the team from central Asia in the knockout quarterfinal round of the Asian world qualifier.

Gilas Pilipinas is made up of 6’11 Marcus Douthit, 6’10 June Mar Fajardo, 6’10 Japeth Aguilar, Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Gabe Norwood, Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Jayson Castro, Larry Fonacier, Gary David and Jeff Chan.

The team is in Group B with Jordan, Chinese Taipei and Saudi Arabia. Kazakhstan is in Group D together with Bahrain, India and Thailand.
If the Filipinos finish first or second in the A-B side and Kazakhstan ends up third or fourth qualifier in the C-D group, the two teams may cross paths in the
quarterfinals.

The 47th FIBA ranked Kazakhstan placed first in the Central Asia elimination, while Gilas Pilipinas is no. 45. The nationals finished third in the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea in 2002 and fourth in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship in Tokoshima, Japan.
Kazakhstan dropped to ninth place in 2009 FIBA-ASIA in Tianjin, China and didn’t compete in the 2011 edition in Wuhan, China.


After a four-year absence in Asian basketball, Kazakhstan returns with a strong line-up following its recruitment of Euro League veteran campaigner Jerry Jamar “Triple J” Johnson.

Johnson played in the European League after missing the final cut with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2006 NBA season.

Kazakhstan is coached by Italian Matteo Boniciolli.

FRANK CALAPRE

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