GILAS Pilipinas begins its redemption tour in the 3×3 circuit when it dukes it out in both the men’s and women’s division of the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup starting on Thursday in Singapore.
After getting dethroned in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 3×3 tilt, the Nationals hope to regain their bearings in the Asia Cup slated until Sunday to boost their 3×3 development in the international stage.
The mission, however, will not be a walk in the park as Gilas still needs to go through the qualifying rounds to get in the main competition featuring the continent’s finest 3×3 federations.
Gilas men’s team is slotted in Qualifying Draw C with Indonesia and Jordan while the women’s team is bracketed in Qualifying Draw B with Jordan and SEA Games gold medalist Thailand.
Led by PBA 3×3 stalwarts, the Filipino cagers take on Jordan at 10:50 a.m. (Manila time) on Thursday before going up against Indonesia later at 8:45 p.m. The Filipinas, meanwhile, battle Jordan and Thailand at 3:20 and 6:50 p.m., respectively.
Only the No. 1 team from each pool will get a ticket to the main draw featuring 12 teams apiece in the men’s and women’s divisions.
Almond Vosotros, Lervin Flores, Samboy de Leon and Joseph Eriobu make up the Gilas men’s while national team veterans Afril Bernardino, Khate Castillo, Camille Clarin and Katrina Guytingco comprise the women’s team.
Gilas women’s finished eighth in the 2019 3×3 Asia Cup edition held in China while the men’s team failed to advance in the group stage at 16th place, making it a golden chance to display better outings.
But more than that, the Philippines is hoping to atone for its dismal showing in the SEA Games 3×3 two months ago as then reigning champion after its men’s team settled for a bronze medal while the women’s team placed at fourth. — John Bryan Ulanday