Friday, August 29, 2014
ESPN: Gilas Pilipinas among 'worst' teams heading into 2014 FIBA World Cup
Filipino basketball fans already know that the national team would be an underdog when it plunges into action in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Saturday.
Just how much the odds are stacked against Gilas Pilipinas became apparent this week after ESPN rated the team one of the worst heading into the competition.
In a column, basketball analyst Kevin Pelton examined the record of every team in its tuneup schedule before the tournament, and found that the Philippines ranked 23rd out of the 24 nations competing in the World Cup.
Pelton, who admitted that the method had its flaws, wrote that the Gilas Pilipinas and groupmate Senegal "are the two worst teams in the field by this measure."
Part of the issues of the ratings are the small sample sizes. South Korea, for example, played just a pair tuneup matches against New Zealand, hence its higher ranking.
Despite problems with the ratings, Pelton noted that this was a better measure than simply taking the FIBA world rankings of each team.
"While teams approach these friendlies with varying degrees of seriousness, they at least include current rosters and can give some idea of current form," said Pelton.
The Philippines played 13 tuneup games in the leadup to the tournament, with a point-differential of minus-6.1. That includes a 50-point beatdown at the hands of Ukraine when the team played with naturalized NBA center Andray Blatche.
Pelton did acknowledge that the Philippine team has shown that it can be competitive when it had a complete lineup.
"The Philippines, led by naturalized Andray Blatche, have looked feisty at times. The team lost by just seven at France," he wrote. — JST, GMA News