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Gilas Pilipinas braces for bigger opposition in FIBA Asia Round 2



After placing second in the first round of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China with a 2-1 card in Group B, Gilas Pilipinas now prepares for tougher opposition in the second round of the tournament as they continue to aim at making the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Philippines lost to Palestine in the opener but recovered with big wins over Hong Kong and Kuwait to secure passage to the second round where they will merge with the top 3 finishers of Group A.

Gilas joins Palestine and Hong Kong as the finishers from Group B. Advancing from Group A are reigning champion Iran, India, and Japan.

In the second round, Gilas will battle Japan on Sunday, September 27, Iran on Monday, September 28, and India on Tuesday, September 29.

The standings heading into the second round are as follows:

Group E

Iran 2-0
Palestine 2-0
Philippines 1-1
Japan 1-1
India 0-2
Hong Kong 0-2

Only the top 4 finishers in each of the second round groups shall make it to the crossover quarter-finals which begin on October 1.

Gilas’ goal in the second round is to win as much as possible to position themselves to a better seeding and avoid the powerhouses of the other bracket in quarter-finals.

In Group F are China, Korea, Lebanon, Qatar, Kazakhstan, and Jordan which are all considered contenders for the quarter-finals.

Group F

China 2-0
Qatar 2-0
Korea 1-1
Lebanon 1-1
Kazakhstan 0-2
Jordan 0-2

The Philippines can still finish first in Group E if they sweep all of their second round assignments and that would put them in a battle against the fourth-seeded Group F team.

China and Korea are poised to top Group F and losing games in the second round is the last thing Gilas wants as they don’t want to be pitted in an early duel against these stronger teams.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Gilas Pilipinas braces for bigger opposition in FIBA Asia Round 2

Jayson Castro led Gilas in the first round with a team-high 15.7 points/game, shooting 53.8 percent from three-point area and 90.9 percent from the free throw line.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Gilas Pilipinas braces for bigger opposition in FIBA Asia Round 2

Andray Blatche adds 15.3 points/game and 9.3 rebounds/game while Terrence Romeo is the third leading scorer at 13.7 points/game.

Highlights from the Gilas Pilipinas games from the first round:

Gilas Pilipinas vs. Palestine

Gilas Pilipinas vs. Hong Kong

Gilas Pilipinas vs. Kuwait

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