GILAS Pilipinas will shoot for its second win against Iraq at the Fiba Asia Cup 2017 in Beirut Lebanon at 9 p.m. Friday after its moral-boosting win against China.
The Philippines is riding on the crest of its 96-87 win over China last Wednesday with Terrence Romeo leading the squad with 26 points while drilling two crucial triples in the final four minutes.
“Our international exposure has finally paid off. Because of our continuing international stints, we have finally adopted to the international brand of game. (The win over China) goes to show that we are more talented than other teams. This time, we are no longer star-struck by teams like China because we have already played against them in various occasions,” multi-titled basketball coach of the University of Cebu Webmasters Raul Alcoseba told SunStar-Cebu.
The win also proved another thing—the Philippines no longer need an American or naturalized player.
“It shows that we no longer need a naturalized player. Because our big men can now stand against the other bigs. Now that Greg (Slaughter) is fine, we can have a tall line-up with Junemar (Fajardo), (Japeth) Aguilar, Christian (Standhardinger) and yes (Raymond) Almazan who was explosive last night. Although (the post) is a bit of a problem, we used our speed, quickness and shooting to neutralize that problem,” Alcoseba continued.
Iraq however is expected to pose some problems for Gilas.
Irag defeated Qatar 75-66 shortly after Gilas pulled the rug from under China last Wednesday.
The 6-foot-7 naturalized American point guard Kevin Galloway of Homenetmen Beirut Basketball Club in Lebanese Basketball League led Iraq to victory with his 16 points and eight rebounds against Qatar.
“If Gilas can bring the same intensity they showed against China, then Iraq is not a problem, especially with the way (Terrence) Romeo broke China’ s defense because of his outside shooting and dribbling skills. We also proved to have solid defense with Aguilar making those five blocks. I think we already made a statement to the rest of the field. Hopefully, that intensity will not die down until the finals,” said sportsman Lorenzo “Chao” Sy.
Topping Group B is what Gilas is targeting right now since each group’s no.1 team will automatically make it to the quarterfinal round and will face the winner of the match between the Group D No.2 and Group C no.3 team. (RCM)