Friday, September 26, 2014
Gilas Pilipinas begins quarterfinal campaign vs unbeaten Qatar - Asian Games 2014
Still licking its wounds from a painful defeat to Iran, the Philippine national men’s basketball team plunges right into quarterfinal action barely a day after the close decision against reigning FIBA Asia Championship titlist in the 2014 Asian Games basketball tournament in Incheon, Korea.
The Gilas Pilipinas national team will try to bounce back against a dangerous Qatar squad that topped Group F in the preliminary round to open their respective quarterfinal campaigns.
Much like in its campaign in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, the Philippines nearly came away with a win against the highly-touted opposition only to falter in the end as they fell to Asia powerhouse Iran in Group E, 68-63, in a rematch of the title game in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships in Manila.
The team will be hoping to better in another FIBA Asia rematch, this time against Qatar, which is unbeaten in the tournament so far after defeating Kuwait and Japan in its two games.
Qatar’s Khalid Suliman Abdi is averaging 18.5 points in the tournament while Erfan Ali Saeed has been solid with 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
The two teams played each other in the FIBA Asia in Manila, where the Filipinos came out on top, 80-70. Qatar, which played then with naturalized player Jarvis Hayes, will not have the services of the former NBA player here, instead tapping Boney Harold Watson.
Gilas, which is bidding for the country’s first Asian Games gold medal in over 50 years, will need to develop a killer’s instinct – something they did not show in their loss to Iran – if they hope to accomplish their goal.
“Kailangan may killer’s instinct ka talaga. Kasi yung mga kalaban wala silang pakialam sa iyo, wala silang pakialam sa team natin,” forward Ranidel De Ocampo told InterAksyon.com before the team left for Korea.
“Wala rin tayong dapat pakialam sa kanila. Basta kami, lalabanan namin kayo. Yun ang mentality ng mga kalaban doon.”