MANILA, Philippines (4th FIBA Asia Cup): SEABA champions Philippines have shown faith in the team that won them the William Jones Cup after a gap of 18 years last week in Chinese Taipei by retaining that core in their line-up for the 4th FIBA Asia Cup to be played in Tokyo from Sept 14-22.
“It’s basically the same as the Jones Cup team except that this team has greater commitment to taller guards in Matt Ganuelas and Jarred Dillinger,” said coach Philippines coach Chot Reyes.
There were some concerns about whether the Philippine Basketball Association teams would release its players for the 4th FIBA Asia Cup, but President Benigno Aquino’s welcome and congratulations to the Jones Cup champions during a Malacanang welcome and his offer to talk to the PBA teams and Commissioner Chito Salud to have the players released, seems to have softened the stand of some team owners.
“We hope to make the top three to go home with a medal,” Reyes said.
“Like the Jones Cup, the 4th FIBA Asia Cup too will be a part of the learning process for this team,” he added.
“We’ll get to face new teams (as against those played in Jones Cup) in China and Qatar. And unlike the one-round-robin play in the Jones Cup, we’ll experience playoffs where one miss, you die. We hope to learn,” the coach said.
Philippines are drawn with reigning FIBA Asia Champions China, defending champions of this event Lebanon, Macau and Uzbekistan in Group A of the Prelim Round, from where the top four will qualify for the quarterfinals.
Philippines will tip off their campaign with a game against China on Sept 14, the opening day of the competition. Click here for complete schedule of 4th FIBA Asia Cup.