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Tiebreaker Times

2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Gilas, Boomers clash for Group B supremacy

It would be a battle of spotless squads on Thursday during the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers as underdogs Gilas Pilipinas will battle the 10th-ranked team in the world from down under in Australia.

Gilas and the taller Boomers, both carrying clean 2-0 slates, will now battle for the top spot of Group B. The anticipated match will be held at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne at 4:30 PM (Manila time).

Aside from having the homecourt advantage, the Aussies will be heading into the bout heavily favored, as they ran roughshod over Japan and Chinese Taipei in the first window with an average winning margin of 31 points.

Australia has been a formidable unit even without their NBA cagers.

The likes of Daniel Kickert (18.5 PPG, 3.5 APG), Mitch Creek (11.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG), and Jason Cadee (10.5 PPG, 5.5 APG) are expected to anchor them once more.

Helping out the trio would be slotmen in 6-foot-9 Angus Brandt and 6-foot-11 Matthew Hodgson, and shooting guards Nathan Sobbey and Mitchell McCarron.

The dribblers from Southeast Asia, on the other hand, will go into the clash with a depleted lineup. Gilas will play on without main point guard Jayson Castro, Jio Jalalon, and forward Troy Rosario all because of untimely injuries.

Castro’s absence will be a major problem for the Filipino cagers as he normed 20.0 markers and 5.0 dimes in the opening window. The floor generalship, therefore, will be entrusted to young guns Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas.

#ReadMore  Chot Reyes still looking at positives despite SMART Gilas being bitten by injury bug

Eyes will be on naturalized center Andray Blatche if he will make up for the dismal showing he had in the first window, where he put up uncharacteristic numbers of 9.5 markers, 13.0 rebounds, and a head-shaking 6.0 turnovers.

Carl Bryan Cruz, after being left out in the first leg, will now make his Asian Qualifiers debut on Thursday. Gilas will also parade a new face in Abu Tratter, who was the surprising name in the team’s final 12-man lineup.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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