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Sports

Ravena, Ramos banner Gilas cast vs Kiwis, Indians

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A lean and youth-laden crop with veteran Kiefer Ravena as skipper will carry the fight for Gilas Pilipinas in next week’s FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers third window campaign against New Zealand and India.

With naturalized big man Ange Kouame sidelined by a meniscal sprain and a partial ACL tear and PBA stalwarts in the heat of their Philippine Cup battle, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas gave the task to 11 mostly young hoopsters.

Ravena, who has yet to strike a deal with NLEX for his PBA return after a season in the Japan B. League, will provide the leadership and valuable experiences from the 2019 World Cup and six Southeast Asian Games ventures.

Dwight Ramos, a holdover from last year’s batch and B. League campaigner, will also be of major influence to young guns RJ Abarrientos, SJ Belangel, Rhenz Abando, Geo Chiu, Dave Ildefonso, Francis Lopez, William Navarro, Kevin Quiambao and Carl Tamayo.

With the exception of Ildefonso, who is returning from an ankle injury, this was the same cast that played Korea in a pair of friendlies in Gyeonggi-Do last week. Fighting hard despite a shorthanded crew, the Pinoy cagers lost both encounters, 96-92, and 106-102.               

GILAS PILIPINAS

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