Gilas Pilipinas made a minor adjustment heading into their game against the New Zealand Tall Blacks on Sunday in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The only replacement Gilas head coach Chot Reyes did was to bring in Jaydee Tungcab for Tzaddy Rangel.
Tungcab, a 6-foot-1 combo guard out of University of the Philippines, will be making his third appearance for Gilas. The native of Laguna played two games in the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Rangel, meanwhile, played six minutes in Gilas 88-64 win over India.
Retained for the game that tips off at 7:00 PM are Thirdy Ravena, Dwight Ramos, Robert Bolick, Roger Pogoy, Angelo Kouame, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Kib Montalbo, Juan Gomez de Liano, William Navarro, and Kelly Williams.
Rosario will soldier on with the finger injury he has been playing with over the last four months.
This means that Gab Banal and Lebron Lopez will sit out this window.
“We’ve played New Zealand in the past. We know the style of play, the style of game that they play,” said Reyes.
“From time to time, they change players but the style remains the same. They’re very tough, they’re very physical, and we have to be ready for that.”
The Tall Blacks are also wary of the physicality brought to every game by Gilas. The difference though is there is a “sixth man” rooting against them.
“No doubt there will be a big crowd in here behind them to support and that’s always fun when you get to play away from home and play against the host team,” said Tall Blacks assistant coach Daryl Cartwright. “And if they are passionate fans, that makes it fun as a competitor.
“We’ll be just sort of preparing as best we can for that match and being ready and understanding their personnel and the style of play that they’ll come out with and just being ready for that intensity.”
Richie Rodger has been called up in lieu of Jayden Bezzant.
The Tall Blacks cast will be composed of Taane Samuel, Dion Prewster, Taylor Britt, Joe Cook-Green, Hyrum Harris, Rob Loe, Ethan Rusbatch, Tom Vodanovich, Tai Wynard, Taki Fahrensohn, and Benjamin Gold.
At stake in the matchup is solo leadership of Pool A.
The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.