Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign for the FIBA Asia Championship has suffered a minor bump after the Palestinian team served them their first loss in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Changsha, China.
Former national coach Joe Lipa explained that the national team’s upsetting loss gave the other teams in their bracket a boost in confidence.
The RP squad needs to get their acts together soon because they will be up against Hong Kong and Kuwait, and pray that Palestine will lose their remaining matches so that Gilas will remain on top of Group H.
If Gilas fails to make it to the top spot in their group, they have no choice but to face bigger and stronger competition, which will make their climb to the finals much more difficult.
Only the champion in the said tournament will make it to FIBA Asia, and will be given a ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
National coach Tab Baldwin said that the Palestinians were strong in the rebounding department, something that the Gilas boys failed to stop, coupled with poor shooting.
The Philippines places fourth with the tallest players in the tournament but are also considered as the oldest in all the teams. (with DZRH Chris Capulso)