Moving on: What’s next for Gilas’ World Cup Qualifiers campaign?
By Mark Patriarca
The 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers has ended with fireworks made of punches, flying knees, hammer fists and steel chairs, thanks to the notorious Gilas-Boomers massive brawl in the Philippine Arena last night.
Disregarding whatever sanction FIBA will hand to everyone involved in the slugfest, Gilas is en route to the Second Round of the Qualifiers.
As per the new FIBA format, all the top 3 teams from the four groups will combine to form two new brackets. Groups A and C will form Group E, while Groups B and D will compose the Group F.
The top 3 teams in Group B are the Boomers (5-1), Gilas (4-2) and the Japanese squad (2-4). They will join Iran (5-1), Kazakhstan (3-3) and Qatar (2-4) in the next round, who were the top 3 of Group D.
The results of all games in the First Round – including those against teams that were eliminated – are carried over to the Second Round.
Here’s the new-look of FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers groupings:
The 3 highest-placed teams from the two new groups and the best 4th-placed team based on standings (a total of 7 teams) will qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
The Second Round of the Qualifiers will also consist of three windows taking place in September and November 2018 and February 2019.
This means that Gilas will need to get many wins as possible over Qatar, Kazakhstan and perennial powerhouse Iran.
In the first window of the second round, Gilas will first face Iran and Hamed Haddadi on September 13. After dealing with the Asian powerhouse, the Nationals will host Qatar on September 17.
Gilas will open the second window against Kazakhstan at home on Nov. 30 before again playing host to Iran on Dec. 2. On the third window, Gilas will visit Qatar (Feb. 21, 2019) and Kazakhstan (Feb.24, 2019).
Looking at the Group F lineup, Gilas can easily book one of the three tickets should it be able to overcome any monumental collapse against lower-rank teams Qatar and Kazakhstan.
The seven best teams from Asia will compete at the first-ever 32-team FIBA Basketball World Cup, taking place from August 31 – September 15, 2019 in China.