Gilas Pilipinas shares bracket with Argentina in Fiba

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014


THE Philippine national quintet better known as Gilas Pilipinas is bracketed in Group B along with Argentina, Greece, Croatia, Puerto Rico and Senegal in the 2014 Fiba World Cup on August 30 to Sept. 14 in Spain.

“Tough group. But di tayo patitinag. Lalaban ng patayan. One thing’s for sure, we will have the best sixth man—the Pinoys,” said head coach Chot Reyes in his Twitter account.

Reyes also posted that he would have wanted to be bracketed with two lower-ranked teams, which went to another group.

“Sayang! The two teams I felt kaya natin, Ukraine and Finland nasa Group C. Would’ve loved to be in that group. Basta, laban Pilipinas,” he tweeted.

The drawing of lots held Monday evening at the Palau de la Musica Catalanna in Barcelona, Spain attended by head coach Chot Reyes also showed defending champion United States is in Group C together with Dominican Republic, Turkey, Finland, New Zealand and Ukrain while host Spain leads Group A also composed of Serbia, France, Brazil, Egypt and Iran.

Group D bracket includes Slovena, Lithuania, Angola, South Korea, Mexico and Australia.

After 35 years, the Filipino squad, whose best finish in the tournament was a bronze medal in the 1954 edition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is again back in the world stage following a runner-up finish behind champion Iran in the 2013 Fiba-Asia championship held last August in Manila.

Fiba World no. 10 Brazil, no. 5 Greece and no. 7 Turkey actually failed in their respective bids during the qualifying tourney but were rewarded the wildcard entries because they landed within the top 24 in the Fiba ranking for men.

No. 39 Finland, on the other hand, was given the fourth wildcard slot because of its impressive performance during the 2013 Europe Basketball Championship held in Slovena.

The FIBA Central Board decided to awards the four wildcard slots in its meeting on Feb. 1.

Their entry likewise expanded the participants to 24 nations seeing action in Spain.

“Besides, all four teams have confirmed the total commitment of their best players to participate at Spain 2014,” said FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann.

The preliminary round will be played in Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Granada and Silvelle from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 while the Final round will be held in Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona and in the Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid from Sept. 6 to 14.

The first ever FIBA World Cup was known as the FIBA World Championship since 1950 to 2010, which is the flagship event of Fiba. The winner will be awarded with the Naismith Trophy, named after the inventor of basketball Dr. James Naismith.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 05, 2014.

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