Gilas oldest FIBA Asia team, but young in terms of cohesion
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (Philstar.com) - September 18, 2015 - 2:35am

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas is the oldest team with an average age of 31 and, together with Iran, Jordan and Lebanon, is the fourth tallest with an average ceiling of 6-foot-5 among the 16 teams slugging it out in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship that fires off Wednesday in Changsha, China.

 Team Phl should be smart and wise with five players in Gabe Norwood (30), JC Intal (31), Marc Pingris (33), Ranidel de Ocampo (33), Sonny Thoss (33) and Dondon Hontiveros (38) in their 30s and with Asi Taulava the oldest player in the tournament roster at 42.

Chinese Taipei is the second oldest with an average age of 30 while the rest feature lineups in 20s – Qatar 28, Japan 28, Jordan 28, Korea 27, Iran 27, Lebanon 26, Kazakhstan 26, Hong Kong 25, Palestine 25, China 24, India 24, Kuwait 24, Malaysia 23, Singapore 23.

Gilas coach Tab Baldwin insists though that his team is “young in terms of time together and training opportunities.”

Iran, the titleholder, is younger in terms of age but is way, way ahead experience-wise with the core of the team all fixtures in FIBA Asia competitions for almost a decade now.

Seven-foot center Hamed Haddadi (30), point guard Mahdi Kamrani (33) and gunners Nikkha Samad Bahrami (32) and Hamed Afagh (32) have been with the Iran national team from its first FIBA Asia title run in Tokushima in 2007.

The current Iran team of coach Dirk Bauermann features a good balance of experience and a bunch of exuberant youngsters including Mohamad Jamshidi (24), Mohamad Saberi (24), Sajjad Mashayekhi (21) and Behnam Yakhchalidehkordi (20).

Jordan coach Rajko Toroman, a veteran international coach who has handled both the Iranian and the Philippine national teams, said Iran is the team to beat with its cohesion and the great fluidity of its games.

Meanwhile, China, as always, is high up in the ladder in terms of ceiling, with no less than four players standing seven-feet and above.

Headlining China’s Great Wall of frontline rotation are 7-0 Yi Jianlian, 7-0 Wang Zhelin, 7-1 Qi Zhou and 7-2 Li Muhao.

China is among the youngest team, though. Its oldest player is comebacking 35-year-old guard Liu Wei, veteran of the 2002 World Championship and the last three Olympics.

Qatar is the second tallest, with a roster of players standing 6-foot-4 or above.

Kazakhstan is the third tallest with a lineup still led by 6-foot-11 sweet-shooting center/forward Anton Ponomarev and wily naturalized guard Jerry Jamar Johnson.

The Kazakhs have only one player standing below six feet in 5-10 veteran playmaker Timur Sultanov.

Gilas is at fourth along with Iran, Lebanon and Jordan, but the height measurements of most of the Filipino players in the FIBA rosters are grossly exaggerated.

Terrence Romeo is listed at 6-0, Marc Pingris at 6-6, JC Intal at 6-5, Gabe Norwood at 6-5, Matt Ganuelas also at 6-5 and Asi Taulava at 6-10.

In the initial stage of the tourney, Gilas Pilipinas will face much smaller rivals in Palestine (6-4), Kuwait (6-4) and Hong Kong (6-3).

The Palestinians’ tallest player is 6-8 power forward Sani Sakakini. Their centers are 6-5 Hamza Yousef and 6-6 Salim Sakakini.

Kuwait has an even smaller frontline crew led by 6-6 center Mohammad Marzouq.

Six-foot-8 Canadian-Hong Kong Chinese Duncan Overbeck Reid leads the HK squad that plays like East Asian rivals Korea and Chinese Taipei.

ANTON PONOMAREV ASI TAULAVA ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP BEHNAM YAKHCHALIDEHKORDI CANADIAN-HONG KONG CHINESE DUNCAN OVERBECK REID CHINESE TAIPEI GABE NORWOOD GILAS PILIPINAS HONG KONG MARC PINGRIS TEAM
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with