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Gilas in must win vs Angola

CJ Perez continued to deliver for Gilas

FOSHAN, China – Gilas Pilipinas tries to end its Group D campaign in the FIBA World Cup with a victory over Angola in this city in order to keep alive its slim hopes of making the Tokyo Olympics.

Demoralized after two blowout defeats at the hands of European teams Italy and Serbia, Gilas is hoping to finally barge into the win column in the 3:30 p.m. match before heading to Beijing for the classification round against the bottom two teams of Group C.

YENG Guiao
YENG Guiao

Coach Yeng Guiao stressed the importance of focusing on its best chance of getting a result here after being pummeled by a combined margin of 105 points in the first two games.

“It’s going to be a tough matchup for us, especially after these two tough losses,” Guiao said after Gilas’ 126-67 loss to Serbia Monday night at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center.

“We have to lift up the spirits of the guys to be able to play well in the next game,” added Guiao.

There’s still a reason for Gilas to stay focused, knowing that there’s still an opportunity to sneak an Olympic slot given to the best-ranked Asian team after the competition.

Host China blew a chance to advance to the second round and end Gilas’ bid for a direct Olympic berth after a 79-76 overtime loss to Poland Monday in the Chinese capital.

China, with a 1-1 record, faces unbeaten leader Venezuela hours after the Gilas-Angola tussle.

If China goes on to win, Gilas’ next option is to become one of the best 16 teams that failed to qualify for the Tokyo Games in order to participate in next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament where four slots are at stake.

The Filipinos face the Iranians on Friday and the loser of the Wednesday’s Group C match between Puerto Rico and Tunisia on Sunday at the Wukesong Sports Arena.

Like Gilas, Angola was beaten by lopsided scorelines against Serbia (105-59) and Italy (92-61). (Jonas Terrado)

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Written by Tempo Desk

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