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Young Gilas 12 Faces Thailand Tonight in 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers


The young Gilas Pilipinas team will be tested against the veteran-led Thailand in the resumption of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers at 9 pm tonight at the Khalifa Sport City in Manama, Bahrain.

Gilas head coach Joseph Uichico said, while his squad is less experienced compared to Thailand, he is confident that the national men’s basketball team can keep its spotless record in the group stage.

“Confident naman kami. Confident naman ang players dahil alam natin na lalaban lahat yan,” Uichico said in an interview with Radyo5’s Power and Play. “Alam nilang kaya nilang manalo. The progress in practice is very positive so tumataas ang kumpyansa namin at kumpyansa nila.”

“Ang mahirap sa Thailand compared to us, mas matagal na silang naglaro together dahil club team sila,” he added. “Nakalaban na namin sila nung last year sa SEA Games and they’ve been together for so long. And through these years, nagi-improve sila to be a very cohesive unit.”

Named as part of the 12-man roster were Kobe Paras, Justine Baltazar, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Matt and Mike Nieto, Dwight Ramos, Will Navarro, Dave Ildefonso and Kemark Carino.

Thailand, on the other hand, will parade the core players of Hi-Tech Bangkok City led by Chanathip Jakrawan, Nakorn Jaisanuk, Nattakarn Muangboon, Wattana Suthisin, Chatpol Chuengyampin, Bandit Lakhan, Sukhdave Ghogar, Montien Wongsawangtham, Anucha Langsui and Anasawee Klaewnarong.

Tonight will be the first of the two meetings between the Gilas Pilipinas and Thailand in the Manama bubble. The two teams will square off anew on Monday evening.