The Philippines men’s national basketball team faces a daunting task in its return to the world stage in the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China which tips off on Saturday, August 31.
Bracketed alongside Italy, Serbia, and Angola in Group D of the preliminary phase, Gilas Pilipinas, which is no. 31 in the FIBA world rankings, needs two wins to qualify to the next round.
The Philippines journey to the World Cup was quite bumpy as it filled with ups and downs, hard-fought victories and painful defeats. Now, after five years since they last stepped on the biggest basketball stage in the world, the Philippines is back to the world map.
Here’s a quick Gilas Pilipinas guide to the first round of the tournament:
Bracket : Group D
At Foshan, China
Aug. 31: Philippines vs. Italy, 7:30 pm
Sept. 2: Philippines vs Serbia, 7:30 pm
Sept. 4: Philippines vs Angola, 3:30 pm
FIBA ranking: 39
Key players: Reggie Moore and Yanick Morais
FIBA ranking: 13
Key players: Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari
FIBA ranking: 4
Key players: Nikola Jokic, Boban Marjanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic