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Gilas urging all-out support from club teams, collegiate programs

November 6 ------ Gilas Pilipinas is already gearing up for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.  The national team is all-set to open its training camp for the Asian Qualifiers on Friday.  The most recent player pool had 24 names bannered by Calvin Abueva, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, and Terrence Romeo.  Also included there Japeth Aguilar, Kevin Alas, Raymond Almazan, Baser Amer, Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Ferrer, Jiovani Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood, Kobe Paras, Ray Parks Jr., RR Pogoy, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Christian Stanhardinger, Mike Tolomia, Norbert Torres, and Matthew Wright.

Whoever will be called upon for the upcoming Asian Qualifiers, main backer Smart and its chairman Manny V. Pangilinan is hoping that they will give their all. “We are hoping that the best of the best players in the country will join Gilas for this tournament. We are calling for the support of every club team and every collegiate program to support this endeavor,” He said.  

In the tournament commencing on November 23, the Philippine national team will be once again called Smart Gilas Pilipinas.  Under the new format of FIBA Qualifiers, 16 teams will be divided into four groups who will then play one another in home-and-away games. The top three teams from each group will be making it into the next round.  Gilas is in Group B together with Australia, Chinese Taipei, and Japan.

With the new format, the Filipinos are upbeat they can keep making waves in international basketball. “Though the new format for qualification is different from past editions, we are confident that we will adjust to this and return to the global stage once more,” Pangilinan said.  That is even truer as the Philippine national team is set to play in front of their kababayans several times – with the first one scheduled on November 27 up against Chinese Taipei.  During those instances, Pangilinan has only one call to action for Filipinos: “Let’s show the world once again what puso is all about!”

Source: abs-cbn.com