The Gilas Pilipinas boys team faces an acid test in the group stage after being grouped with formidable foes in the FIBA U18 Asian Championship set from Aug. 21 to 28 at the Azadi Basketball Hall in Tehran, Iran.
The nationals are expected to get their hands full right on the group stage of the tournament against Syria, Qatar and the higher-ranked Chinese Taipei Group C.
The world No. 24 Philippines begins its bid for a spot in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup next year with a clash against Syria on Aug. 21, Qatar on Aug. 22, and Chinese Taipei on Aug. 23.
Only eight among the 10 teams will advance to the next round which will be determined through the cumulative standings of all the teams from the three groups.
Ateneo commits Kyle Gamber and Mason Amos will join a slew of La Salle standouts led by Mur Alao and EJ Abadam in the national team for the week-long regional tilt.
Also in the crew were Seven Gagate, Ethan Alian, and Luis Pablo of La Salle Greenhills, LA Andres and Joshua Coronel of La Salle along with University of the Philippines Integrated School big man Kobe Dimasana, James Nacua of San Beda-Taytay, and Ramon Salvoro of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.
Still handling the crew is long-time Gilas Youth coach Josh Reyes as the nationals hope to repeat the country’s fourth place finish in the 2018 edition behind Kai Sotto, AJ Edu, Dave Ildefonso, and Dalph Panopio to secure a ticket to the world meet.