Philippines tries to bounce back, faces Japan

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Games Monday
(Mall of Asia Arena)
10:30 a.m. – Qatar
vs. Jordan (Group E)
12:45 p.m. – Iran
vs. India (Group F)
3:00 p.m. – Chinese-Taipei
vs. Hongkong (Group E)
5:45 p.m. – Kazakhstan
vs. China (Group F)
8:30 p.m. – Philippines
vs. Japan (Group E)
10:30 p.m. – Korea
vs. Bahrain (Group F)
(Ninoy Aquino Stadium)
6:00 p.m. – Malaysia vs. Thailand

AFTER a one day break, the Philippine national team resumes its quest as it faces dangerous 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 setback to Chinese-Taipei (79-84) late Saturday, the

Philippine squad better known as Gilas Pilipinas settled for second in Group A (2-1) behind the Chinese (3-0) and advanced into the next round carrying a 1-1 slate because its win against Saudi Arabia no longer counts as only those teams making it to the second phase of the elims counts in the carry-over format.

Thus, coach Chot Reyes’ team is now facing a must win situation and must sweep all remaining three matches including against Japan today at 8:30 p.m and against Qatar on Tuesday also at 8:30 p.m. as well as Hongkong on Wednesday at the same time and venue.

Reyes remained unfazed saying what is most important for him is the last phase of the eliminations, which will determine the top eight teams to qualify in 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.

Besides sweeping all three games, they have also to pray that

Qatar and Chinese-Taipei, the current leader in Group E with identica l2-0 win-loss slate at least drop a game so that Gilas Pilipinas can emerge as the top team in the group.

Only four teams in each of Groups E and F will advance into the knockout quartertinal round. The top team in Group E will face the no. 4 team in Group F, which may probably be Kazakhstan as Iran, Korea and China are expected to occupy the first three slots in their group.

This is the scenario that the Filipino squad needs to do if it hopes to make it to the semis and a crack for one of the 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), Hongkong (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 also feature Qatar against Jordan at 10:30 a.m.

while Iran meets India at 12:45 p.m. and Chinese-Taipei takes on Hongkong at 3 p.m. China hopes to win over Kazakhstan at 5:45 p.m. and Korea battles Bahrain in the last game at 10:30 p.m. Malaysia also faces Thailand in the lone game at 6 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

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