The Philippines might find themselves in a similar quarterfinals situation

By Klyde Manansala | Photo by Tristan Tamayo

The Philippines has faced the Korean men’s basketball team numerous times. Gilas Pilipinas is aware of how tough it’s going to be if they ever cross paths again in the quarterfinals of the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In the last two Asian Games, the Koreans have given the Gilas a hard time as they outlasted the Filipinos in the quarterfinals in Guangzhou and Incheon, and this year, Gilas could once again find themselves in another quarterfinal clash with the Koreans.

With Gilas coming off an impressive Asiad opener, routing Kazakhstan yesterday, their huge hurdle now is facing China, which they will have to face on Tuesday with Jordan Clarkson finally making his Gilas debut.

“With a victory, the Philippines could dodge a bullet from facing Korea—but one thing’s for sure, this new Gilas is surely not backing down to whoever’s in line to battle them

Based on the tournament format, the second-place finisher in Group D—where Philippines is bracketed and is already one win away from securing a spot in the quarters—will face the top team in Group A where Korea is playing and has already bagged a win against host country Indonesia in the opening day of the men’s basketball tournament.

If Gilas fails to squeak past China, who has two NBA players playing for them, chances are, the Philippines will end up facing a tough situation with the Koreans in the quarterfinals, especially since Korea will most likely win its last bracket game against Indonesia on Monday.

But with the way the revamped Gilas played the Kazakhs yesterday, everyone is expecting them to put up a good fight against the Chinese basketball team led by Houston Rocket’s Zhou Qi and Dallas Mavericks’ Ding Yanyuhang. Moreover, Clarkson’s arrival will certainly give coach Yeng Guiao’s crew an added boost especially on the offensive end.

With a victory, the Philippines could dodge a bullet from facing Korea—but one thing’s for sure, this new Gilas is surely not backing down to whoever’s in line to battle them.