In addition to Gilas Pilipinas’ games at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Filipino fans are also keeping a close watch on the matches at the Okinawa Arena.
To conclude the group phase of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Japan’s Akatsuki team took the lead in Asia’s race to the 2024 Paris Olympics following their impressive 98-88 victory over Finland during the first round of Day 2.
This remains the sole victory for an Asian nation in the global showcase thus far.
For Japan to avoid any complications, they must sweep their remaining Group M games against the 17th-ranked Venezuela and the 64th-ranked Cape Verde.
However, achieving this task is easier said than done, as Cape Verde—a team led by Edy and Will Tavares—has proven that its ranking is misleading.
That is why if there is one Asian nation with a strong chance of securing the berth, it’s Jordan.
The Falcons, despite losing all three of their Group C games by a combined margin of 77 points, have the “easiest” classification games on paper.
Ranked 33rd in the world, Jordan faces No. 55 Egypt today and No. 31 Mexico on Saturday. With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson leading their attack, Jordan has a huge shot to sweep these teams.
Iran and Lebanon, on the other hand, face tough challenges in Jakarta, as they must contend with France and Ivory Coast, respectively, before their showdown on Saturday.
At the end of the day, the classification phase will be heated up until its final day;