Andray Blatche

Gilas vs Japan
Russell Cadayona (Pang-masa) - November 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Pinangalanan na kahapon ng umaga ni national head coach Chot Reyes ang Final 12 ng Gilas Pilipinas na makikipagrambulan sa Japan sa FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.

Ang tropa ay pinamumunuan nina naturalized player Andray Blatche, four-time PBA Most Valua-ble Player June Mar Fajardo at Jayson Castro. Ang iba pang kasama sa Final 12 ay sina Gilas mainstays Gabe Norwood, Calvin Abueva at Japeth Aguilar at mga bagitong sina Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Kevin Alas, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario at NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena.

Hindi naman napasama sina Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo at ang may injury na si Raymond Almazan.

“I spoke to the three of them earlier and they’ve taken it very professionally and very well,” sabi ni Reyes kina Cruz, Belo at Almazan.

Nakatakdang sagupain ng Nationals ang mga Japanese ngayong alas-6 ng gabi (Manila time) sa Komazawa Gymnasium sa Tokyo na mapapanood sa ESPN5.

Nilinaw ni Reyes na maaari pa rin niyang hugutin ang sinuman kina Cruz, Belo at Almazan sa pagharap ng Gilas Pilipinas laban sa Chinese-Taipei sa Nobyembre 27 sa Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I just want to tell everybody that we came here as a 15-man team. Those three guys not playing tomorrow doesn’t mean they’re not part of the team,” wika ni Reyes. “They’re still very much part of the team, entitled to everything and all the privileges that everybody else has,” dagdag pa nito.

Kasama ng Pilipinas sa Group B ang Japan, Chi­nese-Taipei at Australia habang nasa Group D ang Iran, Kazakhstan, Qatar at Iraq.

 

 

 

 

Ang Group A ay kinabibilangan naman ng China, Hong Kong, Korea at New Zealand, samantalang ang Group C ay binubuo ng Le­banon, Syria, Jordan at India.

Ang Top Three teams sa naturang apat na grupo ang bubuo sa Group E at F para sa second round ng ‘home-and-away’ series ng Asian World Cup qualifiers.

Nauna nang pinabagsak ng Nationals ang Japanese team noong 2015 FIBA Asia Championships sa Changsha, China na siyang magiging motivation ng koponan ni Argentinian legendary coach Julio Lamas.

Ngunit may bitbit na 5-0 record ang Gilas Pilipinas sa kanilang huling limang pagtutuos ng Japan, huling nanalo noong 2004 FIBA Asia Challenge sa iskor na 106-46.

Sasandig si Lamas, ang seven-time Argentine League Coach of the Year ang gumiya sa Argentina noong 1998 at 2014 World Cup at noong 2012 Olympic Games, kina naturalized player Ira Brown, NBA D-League veteran Yuki Togashi, Daiki Tanaka at sniper Takatoshi Furukawa.   

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