After an inspiring run at the recent 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the Philippine men’s basketball team returns to action once more as the Gilas Pilipinas compete at the 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014.
The Philippines is grouped with Asian champion Iran and Group B top qualifier India. A win here propels the Gilas to the next round.
Taking the place of Andray Blatche and Jayson William from the World Cup lineup are Marcus Douthit and Jared Dillinger. The indefatigable Jimmy Alapag heeds the call of duty one more time despite announcing his retirement from international competition twice before.
The entry of Dillinger means the lineup got taller, but is Douthit enough to compensate for the loss of Blatche, who was deemed ineligible by the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee?
Barring any hitches, the Filipino ballers won’t face Iran for the second time in the tournament at least until the semifinals. Meanwhile, some of the other contending teams in the other groups include China, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Jordan, Japan, and Qatar, and there is a big chance that the Philippines will meet at most three of them in the quarterfinals.
The question still is, can the Gilas win it all the way to claim the country’s first basketball gold in this competition since 1962? Considering the squad’s performance at the FIBA World Cup, anything is possible.
Here is the Gilas roster for the 2014 Asian Games:
• Marcus Douthit – 6’11
• Jimmy Alapag – 5’10
• LA Tenorio – 5’7
• Gary David – 6’1
• Jeff Chan – 6’2
• Gabe Norwood – 6’6
• Ranidel de Ocampo – 6’6
• Marc Pingris – 6’6
• Japeth Aguilar – 6’9
• June Mar Fajardo – 6’10
• Jared Dillinger – 6’5
• Paul Dalistan – 6’0
Head Coach – Chot Reyes
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