THE Smart-Gilas Pilipinas battle a familiar foe today in Chinese-Taipei in the do-or-die quarterfinal stage of the FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo, Japan.
With a full two days of rest and preparation, the Gilas are raring to take it to their rivals once again and achieve the same success that they had against Chinese Taipei in the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship quarterfinals last year. There, Marcus Douthit exploded for 37 points in leading the Gilas to a 95-78 win.
The Taiwanese booked the date with the country’s national team after winning over Qatar, 75-73, in the final day of action in the preliminary round the other day. The win was made possible after Lu Cheng-Ju made the buzzer-beating basket off a well-executed alley-oop play that gave them a 2-2 (win-loss) record in group B.
The Gilas finished in the second spot in group A after finishing with a three-way tie with Lebanon and China, all of whom had a 3-1 mark. The Filipinos though, lost out on the tie-break to Lebanon, which will face Qatar in the quarterfinals.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes though, had concerns about their gametime being moved to 2 p.m. (Tokyo time). “Just been informed that QF game vs Taipei on Thurs moved to 2 p.m. Tokyo time, throwing our preparation into disarray. Time to adapt and adjust,” he said on his Twitter account. /Correspondent Jonas Panerio