MANILA, Philippines – Win or go home – that is the situation Gilas Pilipinas faces as it heads into the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
To stay in contention, the Philippines must win its back-to-back road matches – the first against Qatar in Doha on Thursday, February 21 (Friday, February 22, Philippine time) – and at the same time, hope that other results work in its favor.
The Philippines currently sits at 4th place in Group F with a 5-5 record and seeks to get back into the top 3, which guarantees a World Cup berth. (READ: Thirdy, Barroca in for Gilas lineup vs Qatar)
But Qatar, running 6th and last in Group F, looks to play spoiler after getting eliminated with a dismal 2-8 record.
Having beaten Qatar by 11 points in the fourth window, the Philippines is favored to sweep their head-to-head matchup despite the homecourt disadvantage.
If Qatar pulls off a stunner, the Philippines must then beat Kazakhstan in Astana on Sunday, February 24, to have a shot at the best 4th placer between Groups E and F and earn the last World Cup spot.
Should the Philippines end up winless in the sixth window, it bids farewell to its World Cup aspirations. (SCENARIOS: How Gilas can qualify for FIBA World Cup)
Game time in Doha on Thursday is at 7 pm, which is 12 am on Friday here.
Follow Rappler’s live blog below: