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Road to Rio gets tougher as Gilas drawn to powerhouse group

Gilas Pilipinas I File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Gilas Pilipinas will have a much tougher time to get a ticket to the Rio Olympics in the wildcard qualifiers as they got bracketed with some of the world's powerhouse teams. 

The luck of the draw did not smile on the Philippines as they will host France, New Zealand, Canada, Turkey and Senegal in the Olympic Qualifiers here in Manila on July 4--10. 

Gilas will need to beat France and New Zealand to advance to the knockout semifinals where Canada and Turkey are expected to advance in the other group. 

NBA players Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gobert, Boris Diaw and Evan Fournier are expected to banner world no. 5 France, which finished 3rd during the 2014 FIBA World Cup and placed 3rd during the FIBA EuroBasket 2015. 

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New Zealand, which current Gilas coach Tab Baldwin led to the semifinals of the 2002 FIBA World Championships, poses another big threat with a tall lineup. 


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