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MANILA, Philippines – The national men’s basketball team is set for another clash with Iran, this time in the 2014 Asian Games, as Gilas Pilipinas landed in Group E of the draw for the tournament together with the powerhouse squad.
Both Iran and the Philippines are directly qualified for the preliminary round by virtue of their 3rd and 6th place finish, respectively, in the 2010 Asian Games.
The two national teams met in the Finals of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships held in Manila but the Iranians defeated the Philippine team to claim the gold, while Gilas settled for silver and a ticket to the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
They also met again during the semifinals of the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup last July where Iran dealt the Philippines its only loss of the tournament and prevented them from entering the final round. Gilas was relegated to the battle for third and secured the bronze by narrowly escaping China.
This year’s Games will be held at Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes previously announced the 12-man lineup that will compete in the Asian Games, which is comprised of Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, Gary David, Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, Jared Dillinger, Gabe Norwood, Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, and naturalized center Andray Blatche.
Gilas will be coming from the FIBA World Cup before going to the Asian Games, where the Philippines has a more realistic chance of winning a gold medal. – Rappler.com