MANILA, Philippines – A young and rejigged Gilas Pilipinas team opens the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers as it tangles with Indonesia in a road game at the Britama Arena in Jakarta on Sunday, February 23.
Five amateur standouts see action for the senior national team as Gilas begins to lay down the foundation for the future, throwing the young players into the fire against an Indonesia crew the Philippines has repeatedly blown out.
Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Juan Gomez de Liaño, and Dwight Ramos get to showcase their wares along with 7 PBA players, including 6 Gilas Pilipinas mainstays led by team captain Kiefer Ravena.
Six-season PBA veteran Justin Chua suits up for the national team for the first time as he teams up with CJ Perez, Poy Erram, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Abu Tratter.
Mentored by interim coach Mark Dickel, the Philippines remains favored to pull off a lopsided win over Indonesia, the squad it clobbered by an average of 32.0 points in 6 meetings in the SEA Games and SEABA Championships over the last 5 years.
Indonesia, too, won’t be at full strength as key players Lester Prosper and Brandon Jawato failed to make the lineup of the tournament’s first window with their naturalization still being processed.
The Indonesia match is Gilas Pilipinas’ lone game in the first window after its clash against Thailand last February 20 was postponed due to the threat of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Game time is at 7 pm.
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