Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times
(C) USA Basketball

2023 FIBA World Cup

SBP still sees Team USA as team to beat in FIBA WC

Despite the absence of their biggest stars, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio believes that Team USA is still the team to beat in the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

Asked about the lack of stars in Team USA’s roster during the special Philippine Sportswriters Association event for the FIBA World Cup, Panlilio mentioned that they initially expected to witness the NBA’s brightest stars competing in the world meet.

However, after observing the series of tune-up matches that the American team participated in over the last couple of weeks, the SBP chief is convinced that Team USA’s roster, consisting of up-and-coming NBA stars, will pose the most significant threat to all the teams in the global showpiece.

“Initially, we wanted a Tier 1 [USA] team. But if you look at the lineup, it’s a pretty formidable team. I don’t know if you’ve been watching their recent games. I just saw the highlights of their matches against Slovenia and Spain. It’s a pretty tough team,” said Panlilio during the press conference held on Tuesday at the Meralco compound.

Panlilio mentioned that Team USA’s head coach Steve Kerr and his assistant, Filipino-American tactician Erik Spoelstra, have done a tremendous job in preparing the young squad for the upcoming FIBA competitions.

“I think it’s also because of two people: Steve Kerr and Erik Spoelstra. So, if you see, the USA team is strong,” he said.

“They might not be your veteran superstars, but these are upcoming, highly-contracted NBA players, high-quality players, and with the coaching of Steve and Erik Spoelstra, the USA team is the team to beat. They beat Spain, right? They beat Spain.”

New York’s Jalen Brunson, Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards, and New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram are expected to lead Team USA’s redemption campaign in the world meet following a disastrous seventh-place finish in the 2019 edition in China.

#ReadMore  Kai Sotto to only join Gilas in Jordan

Apart from these three players, Mikal Bridges (Brooklyn), Paolo Banchero (Orlando), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis) are all expected to play significant roles in the team’s rotation.

Completing the team are Josh Hart (New York), Cam Johnson (Brooklyn), Walker Kessler (Utah), Bobby Portis (Milwaukee), and Austin Reaves (Los Angeles Lakers).

For Gilas head coach Chot Reyes, it doesn’t matter who is in or out of the nations competing.

What matters is who they are facing, namely the Dominican Republic, Angola, and Italy.

“What happens outside the team is of little concern for us. Our focus is on ourselves and the three teams we are playing against,” he said.

Written By

You May Also Like

2023 FIBA World Cup

Mobile services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has won a bronze award in the prestigious 2023 CLIO Sports Awards for transforming the iconic SM...


ANTIPOLO — TNT has sent a termination of contract notice to Mikey Williams. No less than senior consultant Chot Reyes confirmed reports that the...


TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa is leaving the negotiations with Mikey Williams to Chot Reyes to better focus on the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s...


TNT and Mikey Williams are still in an impasse. The Tropang Giga have opted not to include the 6-foot-2 guard in their initial roster...


The PBA is urging the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to plan ahead of the major international tournaments awaiting Gilas come 2024. Ginebra governor...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Hundreds of students from Tondo, Manila, who served as mascots or player escorts during the FIBA World Cup, were honored during a ceremony that...

19th Asian Games

The Philippine baseball team will face significant challenges in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Despite missing the quadrennial event in 2010, 2014,...

19th Asian Games

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has made the decision to add four players to the Gilas Pilipinas Men team that will compete in...