Gilas Pilipinas Boys’ quest to qualify for the FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Turkey next year begins this Sunday at the Under-16 Asian Championship in Doha, Qatar.
The Philippines, who secured their spot in the event by sweeping the SEABA tournament a month ago, will kick off their journey against China on early Monday morning, followed by matches against Kazakhstan on early Tuesday morning and Malaysia on Wednesday.
The top-ranked team will automatically earn a spot in the quarterfinals, while the second- and third-ranked teams will compete against either New Zealand, South Korea, Bahrain, or Jordan in the playoffs.
Josh Reyes, the head coach of Gilas Youth, has enlisted the majority of the SEABA winning team for this competition.
Leading the squad are Kieffer Alas, CJ Amos, Irus Chua, Edryn Morales, Joaquin Ludovice, Elijah Williams, Paul Diao, Bonn Daja, and Kurt Velasquez.
Joining the team as newcomers are 6-foot-5 Jaime Gomez de Liano from UPIS, along with 6-foot-1 Sam Alegre and 6-foot-1 Noah Banal from Mapua.
Not part of the team that won the SEABA tourney are Ziv Espinas, Brian Hachuela, and Gian Gomez.
The last time the Philippines participated in the U17 Worlds was in 2018.