Home Editors' Picks Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 battles with continent’s best in FIBA Asia Cup in...
Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 battles with continent’s best in FIBA Asia Cup in Singapore
AFTER an impressive Final Four finish last edition, Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 brims with high hopes of replicating its success or even surpassing it in flying colors when it tangles with the continent’s best of the best today in the 2023 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in Singapore.
Seeded fourth in the 12-team tournament, the Nationals led by PBA 3×3 scoring champion Almond Vosotros of Talk ‘N Text begin their quest in Pool D main draw against the winner of qualifiers and No. 5 Qatar.
Gilas takes on the survivor of the four-team Qualifying Draw D featuring Malaysia, Iran, Hong Kong and Brunei at 3:15 p.m., before wrapping up preliminary action against Qatar at 8:45 p.m.
The Philippines, which also has TNT’s Samboy de Leon, Cavitex’s Jorey Napoles and Platinum Karaoke’s Brandon Bates, needs to finish in the top two to make it to the quarterfinals of the Asian 3×3 joust led by powerhouse teams Mongolia, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.
Under the tutelage of coach Lester del Rosario, Gilas’ tall order is to make the podium this time after a fourth-place finish last year also in Singapore.
Gilas then worked its way from the qualifiers to stun the top-seeded Mongolia in the quarterfinals before losing to New Zealand in the semis and China in the battle for the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, the No. 10 seed Filipinas are bracketed with No. 1 China and No. 8 Iran in Pool A of the women’s tournament in a bid to make a deep run after an early exit in the qualifiers last year.
Gilas women, featuring Afril Bernardino, Khate Castillo, Clare Castro and Janine Pontejos with the guidance of coach Pat Aquino, takes on China at 2:50 p.m. and Iran at 6:15 p.m. tomorrow for a similar top-two goal. — John Bryan Ulanday