New mix of players to bolster Gilas in FIBA Asia Cup

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Carl Tamayo of Gilas Pilipinas
Carl Tamayo of Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas tries a new mix of players when the country takes part in the FIBA Asia Cup, which begins on July 12, Tuesday, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

World-class basketball is once again within reach as the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia is presented to Smart subscribers live via the Smart GigaPlay App starting July 12.

Gilas will take on Lebanon on July 13 at 9 p.m., India on July 15 at 4 p.m., and New Zealand on July 17 at 9 p.m. Smart will broadcast these and more in real-time from July 12 to 24, enabling basketball fans with even more opportunities to rally behind Gilas should the team advance to the next rounds.

The national team enters the FIBA Asia Cup following a dominant performance in the Asia Cup qualifiers last June 2021, in which they swept their group, 3-0, beating teams such as Korea and India.

“In a basketball-crazed country such as the Philippines, Smart, through the GigaPlay app, continues to enable the whole nation in supporting the national team and witnessing their FIBA Asia journey and their bid for gold. All the Gilas hardcourt action is within reach by every Filipino fan on the GigaPlay App, powered by Smart’s fastest mobile network,” said Francis E. Flores, Head of Consumer Business Group – Individual at Smart.

Smart’s coverage of the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup adds to GigaPlay App’s lineup of top-notch sports content, which includes the streaming of the UAAP, NBA, PBA, PVL, and VNL games.

Several players were added in the roster of Gilas Pilipinas, including Ray Parks, who is back in the program since playing for the national squad a few years ago. Another late addition is Poy Erram, Reyes’ player at TNT.

Thirdy Ravena of Gilas Pilipinas
Thirdy Ravena of Gilas Pilipinas

Erram will take over the spot temporarily vacated by injured naturalized player Angelo Kouame, who is still recovering from his injury. Another key player being sidelined is Japan B. League stalwart Dwight Ramos, who had to beg off from playing because of a shin injury.

This means that Coach Chot Reyes will have only 11 healthy bodies playing for the national squad. Aside from Parks and Erram, the team will also have Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Will Navarro, SJ Belangel , RJ Abarrientos, LeBron Lopez, Geo Chiu, Carl Tamayo, and Kevin Quiambao.

The FIBA Asia Cup is one of the events that serve as a preparatory tournament for next year’s FIBA World Cup, and Reyes is trying to find different mix of players who can become potential members of next year’s squad.

“All our efforts now are in preparation for 2023. We are doing everything to have the best team possible by next year. So, we’re trying out different systems from putting up the best coaching team as well as assembling the best players who are willing to fight for their country,” said Reyes.