Gilas gears up for 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers


Smart Gilas Pilipinas’ management, coaches, and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) are leaving no stones unturned as they gear up for the home-and-away tournament of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers. 

“Every tournament we joined this year was done in preparation for this tournament. Though the new FIBA format for qualification is different from past editions, we are confident that we will adjust to this and return to the global stage once more,” said SMART chair and SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan.

The World Cup qualifiers will have a new format, a home-and-away structure with the region divided into four groups in the opening round. Gilas is grouped with Australia, Chinese-Taipei, and Japan in Group B. 

Only six teams from the region will qualify for the World Cup in 2019.

Smart Gilas will face Japan in Tokyo in its first game in the qualifying tournament. 

“We are hoping that the best of the best players in the country will join Gilas for this tournament. We are calling for the support of every club team and every collegiate program to support this endeavor,” said Pangilinan.

The Smart Gilas training camp begins on Friday.

“We at Smart are guaranteeing full support to our national team and its journey to the World Cup. Together let us join hands in forming a formidable national team that the Filipino people deserves,” added Smart Sports chief Christopher Quimpo.

Team management called Filipinos to support the national team through social media during the team’s first home game on November 27 against Chinese-Taipei.

“Let’s show the world once again what puso is all about!” said Pangilinan.

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