Gilas Pilipinas’ SEAG win fuels excitement for 2023 FIBA World Cup

In an interview, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Alfredo S. Panlilio shared his wishes that Gilas Pilipinas could win at least two (games) and move to the next round.

Less than a hundred days before the opening tip of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Filipino basketball fans are growing excited as they await the final list of local and international basketball superstars who will be playing in the Philippine leg of the said basketball championship.

Following Gilas Pilipinas’ euphoric win against an import-laden Cambodian team in the recent 32nd Southeast Asian Games, and with the team’s grit and sound coaching strategies, basketball enthusiasts are optimistic about the team’s chances in this year’s FIBA World Cup.

With Gilas Pilipinas facing familiar foes — Italy, Dominican Republic and Angola — in the FIBA World Cup’s group stage, the victory over Cambodia could inspire the players as they compete with these teams.

Playing in front of the home crowd will boost the team’s morale as Gilas Pilipinas sets their sights on winning in the 2023 FIBA World Cup and qualifying to represent the flag in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The Philippines last played in the 1972 Olympics and winning the FIBA World Cup could end the drought.

In an interview, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Alfredo S. Panlilio shared his wishes that Gilas Pilipinas could win at least two (games) and move to the next round.

Since the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas had only won once in 10 matches. Thus, there is enormous pressure to perform at an all-time high, considering that the Philippines is one of the co-hosts of this year’s tournament.

Panlilio added, “If we do that (win at least two games and advance to the knockout stage), possibly, because the highest ranking Asian team after every tournament gets a slot in the Olympics. It’s a reward if we’re the highest Asian team.

In the meantime, what remains crucial for Gilas Pilipinas’ coaching staff is its selection of players that would participate in the FIBA World Cup. The players’ selection also excites Filipinos as they all wait to see if Filipino-American and Utah Jazz Guard Jordan Clarkson would don the country’s colors.

News reports quoted Gilas Pilipinas Head Coach Chot Reyes saying, “The selection would be based on various factors such as schedules, players’ plans, and even economics. To be very honest about it, to be very frank, economics will also be an issue.”

“There are a lot of things that are going to be involved in making the final determination. We plan to have a 16- or 18-man pool, and it might be more, to go on an extended training period that will include foreign camps and tune-up games against quality competition,” Reyes said.

The Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia will host this year’s FIBA World Cup from August 25 to September 10, 2023. The games will be played simultaneously at the Araneta Coliseum for Groups A and B, Mall of Asia Arena for Groups C and D, Okinawa Arena in Japan for Groups E and F, and at the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta for Groups G and H. The qualifying teams will head to Manila as the Playoffs and Finals Games will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena.

As the country prepares to host the most prestigious FIBA World Cup, Panlilio also called on all basketball stakeholders to unite to support Gilas Pilipinas as it competes in the international arena.

With the Philippines’ passionate fans, rich basketball culture, and world-class venues, the stage is all set for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which is certain to leave a mark on the global basketball landscape.

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