Gilas pokus sa pagsikwat ng Tiket sa 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Russell Cadayona (Pilipino Star Ngayon) - November 10, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Iisa lamang ang nasa isip ng Gilas Pilipinas at ni national head coach Chot Reyes: Ang tiket para sa 2020 Olympic Games sa Tokyo, Japan.

Ngunit madali itong sabihin kesa gawin dahil kailangan muna ng Nationals na kumampanya sa ‘home-and-away’ series ng Asian World Cup qualifiers.

“The goal is clear – a ticket to the 2020 Olympics,” wika ni Reyes sa isang Fiba.com report. “That is why we will be competitive versus both Japan and Chinese Taipei.”

Kasama ng Gilas Pilipinas sa Group B ang Japan, Chinese-Taipei at Australia habang nasa Group D naman ang Iran, Kazakhstan, Qatar at Iraq.

Ang Top Three sa nasabing dalawang grupo ang maglalaban sa susunod na yugto ng torneo.

Ang mapapabilang sa Top Seven mula sa 16 teams sa qualifying event ang makakasikwat ng tiket para sa 2019 World Cup sa China at posibleng makapaglaro sa 2020 Olympics sa Tokyo.

“It’s very important that we get these two (Japan and Chinese Taipei). We cannot look past anybody. Our entire focus right now is on Japan, and then after that we can think of Chinese Taipei,” ani Reyes.

Unang makakasagupa ng Nationals ang Japanese sa Nobyembre 24 sa Komazawa Gymnasium sa Tokyo kasunod ang Taiwanese sa Nobyembre 27 sa Smart Araneta Coliseum at ang Aussies sa Pebrero 22 ng 2018 sa Australia.

Muling makakatapat ng Gilas Pilipinas ang Japan sa Pebrero 25, ang Taiwan sa Hunyo 29 at ang Australia sa Hulyo 2 ng 2018.

Inaasahang makakasama na ng mga Nationals sa kanilang ensayo si naturalized player Andray Blatche, hindi naglaro sa nakaraang FIBA Asia Cup sa Beirut, Lebanon dahil sa seguridad.

Nauna nang inihayag ni Reyes ang 23-man national pool, kasama si Blatche, na paghuhugutan niya ng mga players para sa ‘home-and-away’ series ng FIBA Asia qualifiers.

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