HIGHLIGHTS: Philippines vs Greece – FIBA U19 World Cup 2019 Group Phase
MANILA, Philippines – The tallest Gilas Pilipinas Youth team in history will have an even taller task to face to open the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece.
That’s because Kai Sotto and crew will have to face the Greek youth national team in the opening tiff on Saturday, June 29 (Sunday, June 30, 1:30 am, Philippine time).
However, the hype for the height is fully warranted for the Gilas Youth as the 7-foot-2 Sotto has bulked up in his two-month US training stint in Atlanta. He’ll be partnered in the front court with 6-foot-10 Fil-Nigerian big man AJ Edu, who has shown great chemistry with the team so far in their tune-up games.
Fil-Italian point guard Dalph Panopio will man the perimeter along with streaky sniper Terrence Fortea and steady floor general Gerry Abadiano, both proud products of the NU Bullpups.
Meanwhile, rising collegiate stars Dave Ildefonso of the NU Bulldogs and James Spencer of the UP Fighting Maroons will take up the wing spots, providing much-needed experience and stability for the talent-laden squad.
Able to play center and both forward spots, 6-foot-7 prospect Carl Tamayo will prove to be an invaluable asset whether as a starter or as a sparkplug off the bench. This was proven in the Bullpups’ championship run in the UAAP Season 81, where Tamayo won Finals MVP as a sixth man.
With the 6-foot-8 Geo Chiu and 6-foot-5 Rhayyan Amsali also backstopping down low, it’ll be hard for Greece to find holes in the Gilas frontcourt.
Reliable guards Xyrus Torres of FEU and Migs Oczon of NU will also make sure that the team never runs out of offense in a pinch.
With the Gilas Youth program undeniably oozing with talent for the country’s first U19 World Cup stint in 40 years, all that’s left is to seize those wins one game at a time.
Follow live updates of the game below:Philippines vs Greece - Curated tweets by RapplerSports