Gilas Pilipinas battles 3D Global Sports Canada today at the start of the 39th William R. Jones Cup at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall in Taiwan.
The PH 5 enters the 3 p.m. game clueless, as the coaching staff has little knowledge of their first opponent.
“We knew little [about them]because they don’t compete as a team in any league but we already have videos of some of their players. They have two or three national players and a good seven-footer,” Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes, the son of head coach Chot, told The Manila Times on Friday.
Filipino-Canadian Matthew Wright, one of the first-timers in the Jones Cup, said 3D Global Sports is team to reckon with in the tournament considering the size and athleticism of its players.
“I’m familiar with some of the players on their roster. They are a good team and very athletic,” said Wright. “But I believe in our abilities and all the players are confident heading to this tournament.”
Besides Wright, also in the Gilas roster are Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras, Rey Parks, Jiovani Jalalon, Raymar Jose, Michael Tolomia, Ed Daquioag, Von Pessumal, Alfonzo Gotladera, Carl Bryan Cruz, Roger Pogoy, Kevin Ferrer, Almond Vosotros, Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger and import Mike Myers.
The Canadian club will have former National Basketball Association (NBA) Houston Rockets player Royce White in its lineup that also includes Joey Haywood, Garret Williamson, Dwayne Smith, Conor Morgan and big man Dallin Bachynski.
With the absence of June Mar Fajardo and naturalized player Andray Blatche, Gilas will rely on the 6’8 Standhardinger and the 6’8 Myers to man the shaded lane.
After Canada, Gilas will play against Taiwan A on Sunday at 7 p.m., Taiwan B on Monday at 3 p.m., Japan on Tuesday at 1 p.m., Korea on Wednesday at 5 p.m., Iraq on Thursday at 5 p.m., Lithuania on Friday at 3 p.m., India on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Iran on Sunday at 5 p.m.