Sunday, October 4, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas' tries to keep Rio Olympics dream alive in next year’s wildcard tourney
The Philippine national men’s basketball team fell short of earning an automatic ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics after losing to China in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship final on Saturday in Changsha, China.
But Gilas Pilipinas’ Olympic dream is still alive, although the squad faces a more difficult road to bring the country back to its first Olympic appearance in 44 years.
By finishing in the top four alone in the FIBA Asia, Gilas Pilipinas already booked a ticket to the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament where three wildcard spots in the Olympic games are at stake.
Apart from FIBA Asia runners-up Iran and Japan, Gilas Pilipinas will be joining the field that is already composed of European squads France, Serbia, Greece, Italy and Czech Republic; Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico from the Americas; New Zealand from Oceania and three hosts that are yet to be determined.
In the wildcard tournament slated in July next year, the 18 teams will be divided into three groups, each having a tournament of its own. The winning team from each bracket will book the remaining spots in the Olympics.
The competition will definitely be far tougher, no doubt, but by that time, the Filipino fans are hoping that Gilas Pilipinas will give a tough fight with the expected addition of Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Gilas earns admiration for gallant silver medal run in FIBA Asia
Former Gilas coach Chot Reyes and national team players expressed their heartfelt congratulations to the present Gilas Pilipinas team for their gallant stand in the 2015 FIBA Asia Men's Championship.
Even PBA Grandslam and former national coach Tim Cone praised the national team which he said have earned respect.
Check out what other sports and showbiz personalities have said about the national team's stirring second straight silver medal finish in the FIBA Asia.