GILAS Pilipinas will take on Bahrain today to open their 19th Asian Games campaign in Hangzhou, China.
Game time is set at 1:30 p.m.
Tim Cone, Gilas head coach, feels his team will be up for the battle against the Middle Eastern country.
“I think they are going to be a challenge out there,” Cone said.
Cone says Bahrain is a good shooting and defensive team that puts a lot of pressure on the hard court. This, he claims, is uncommon for a tall Middle Eastern team.
Bahrain is coming off a dominant performance in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Damascus, Syria, where they went undefeated in five games.
As a result, they were the first country to secure a spot in the Qualifying Tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will take place next year.
Former PBA import Dwayne Chism will lead Bahrain’s campaign, along with Mustafa Rashed and Muzamil Ameer Hamooda.
In preparation for today’s game, Gilas held a film screening followed by their second and last workout yesterday.
Despite uncertainty about the final lineup, new players CJ Perez, Chris Ross, and Arvin Tolentino are expected to be on the start list, according to their website.
After Bahrain, the men’s national basketball team will face Thailand, led by Tyler Lamb, on September 28, and Jordan, led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, on September 30.
Team Philippines at the Asian Games
According to reports, 400 athletes are expected to compete for Team Philippines in this year’s Asian Games.
Team Philippines currently has two medals, courtesy of Patrick Perez of Men’s Taekwondo (bronze), and Jones Inso of Men’s Wushu (bronze).
Host China leads the medal tally with 39 gold, 21 silver, and 9 bronze medals, followed by South Korea (10-10-13), and Japan (5-14-12).