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Fred Warrick
FRED WARRICK'S BLOG    View profile
195cm / 6'5'' - Shooting Guard / Small Forward - 1976    USA USA


Tempered Expectation For Gilas In FIBA Asia Cup - Aug 6, 2017

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Undersized. Undermanned. Underprepared.

From lofty ambitions to tempered expectations. This is the story of Gilas Pilipinas as they go to battle in the FIBA Asia Cup which will start on August 8 in Beirut, Lebanon.

Up until the deadline of submission of line-ups for the tournament, the Gilas coaching staff was still hoping they could get a confirmation that naturalized player Andray Blatche was joining the team. When it became evident that no commitment from Blatche was forthcoming, Gilas decided to go with Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger as its naturalized player for the tournament.

When Gilas finally started its training for the FIBA Asia Cup, the team would face another challenge in practice attendance. Gilas players had to juggle their schedule between joining the national team trainings and playing for their mother teams in the on-going PBA Governor's Cup. The national quintet had a grand total of 12 days to work out as a team. Of those 12 days, the only time the team had all 12 players together was last August 1, so Gilas had only a day of complete attendance in training.

As if these obstacles and limitations were not daunting enough, Gilas would be thrown another monkey wrench in its FIBA Asia Cup bid when 6'10 Junmar Fajardo suffered a calf injury. Fajardo, a 3-time MVP and the most dominant player in the PBA, was expected to play a major role in the Gilas campaign and was poised to finally have a breakout campaign in the international stage. Fajardo was not only the team's best frontliner, he was also the only one who had the height, the heft, and the skill-set to match-up against the top bigs of other countries.

In Fajardo's absence, Gilas will have to settle with a frontline of 6'9 Japeth Aguilar, 6'8 Raymond Almazan, and 6'8 Standhardinger. They will be terribly undersized in their first game when they go up against China which will parade its great wall made up of 7'2 Li Muhao, 7'1 'Shaq of China' Dejun Han, and 19 year old 6'11 Jinqui Hu. Things do not get easier for Gilas in their two other games in the first round. Qatar will parade US NCAA-honed 6'10 Nasser Al-Rayes, 6'9 Omer Salem, 6'9 Yehia Abdelhaleem, and 6'8 veteran Mohd Yousuf Mohammed. Iraq will be bannered by 6'10 Ali Hameed, 6'9 Mohammed Al-Khafaji, and 6'9 Hussein Hasan Algburi.

Despite all the hurdles the team has faced even prior to the tournament, Coach Chot Reyes has vowed the players will be fighting tooth and nail and showcase 'Puso', the Gilas fighting heart that carried them through in the 2013 and 2015 FIBA Asia where the Philippines placed 2nd and in the 2014 FIBA World Cup where Gilas beat Senegal and almost pulled off upset wins versus Argentina, Croatia, and Puerto Rico. It remains to be seen if 'Puso' alone will be enough to overcome Gilas's lack of height and preparation.   

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16 for Under-16 Batang Gilas Named- Feb.19, 2018  (by Ariel Ian)

SEABA champions Batang Gilas will face the penultimate test as they represent the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region in the FIBA Asia Under-16 which will be held from April 2-8 in Dongguan, China. The level of competition has significantly gone up in the FIBA Asia given the entry of Australia and New Zealand. The Philippines has always been a legitimate contender in the region, but their lack of size and height has hampered their quest to advance in previous stagings of the youth... [read more]
The Gilas Wish List- Feb.5, 2018  (by Ariel Ian)

After PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial announced the lifting of the one-player-per-team limit for the Gilas pool, fans naturally became excited at the prospect of seeing other PBA stars join the national pool. Although Coach Chot Reyes has announced there will be no new players added for the second qualifying window which is less than 3 weeks away, he said they will look into expanding the pool for the succeeding qualifiers. The question now is who are the players who deserve a national... [read more]
Gilas Aims To Be A Contender in the 2023 FIBA World Cup- Dec.25, 2017  (by Ariel Ian)

The consortium made up of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan has won the right to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup and this early, there is a growing sense of anticipation among basketball-crazy Filipino fans that Gilas will be able to form a formidable team that will be highly competitive in its own homecourt. Some names have been floated as possible members of Gilas 2023 especially with the marching order coming from Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Emeritus Manuel V [read more]
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