Gilas cadets test mettle versus Thai pros

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas hopes to rely on its youth and energy to make up for the lack of experience and preparation as it clashes with Thailand tonight in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain.

The Nationals, who will be spearheaded by Kobe Paras, Isaac Go, Dave Ildefonso, Dwight Ramos and brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño, tackle the Thais at 9 p.m. (Philippine time).

“We’re doing good,” said Gilas coach Jong Uichico, who arrived in Manama with the rest of the squad last Sunday then sneaked in a couple of practice sessions.

Uichico said he is wary of the Thais, who will be more experienced even if Tyler Lamb is not playing.

Despite the absence of the 6-5 Lamb, Thailand will field in an all-pro, 10-man roster.

“They are a very experienced team and we will have a fighting heart. We need to grasp all the things that we’ve learned and use it in the game,” said Uichico.

Gilas, which smashed Indonesia, 100-70, in the first window in Jakarta early this year, will play Thailand a second time on Monday, with South Korea begging off from this Asian qualifying window.

Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte, Jaydee Tungcab, Will Navarro, Kenmark Carino and siblings Mike and Matt Nieto are the other members of the team.

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