Despite having an average height of five feet tall, its no secret that the Philippines are in love with the game of basketball that provides advantage for taller players. The program, now known as Gilas Pilipinas, has now exceeded Filipinos expectations on how our country could compete with other countries in terms of length and, despite many changes along the way, has been the trigger for the Philippines’ significant growth in the international arena such as is the Fiba world cup 2023.
Brief History of Gilas Pilipinas
Since the organization finally unified basketball in the archipelago, one of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ (SBP) primary concerns has been the development and preparation of our own national team for international competitions. Furthermore, this initiative was originally known as “Smart Gilas Pilipinas,” with wireless telecommunications behemoth Smart Communications Inc. spearheading the funding charge. The main directive from the start was to avoid assembling a squad of PBA players who would have little to no time to prepare for important international competitions. The SBP leadership devised a strategy to have a group of players focus solely on FIBA competitions, such as the FIBA World Cup 2023, like the global development strategies that have been implemented.
Early members of the Smart Gilas Pilipinas included collegiate standouts from the Philippines including Chris Tiu, Mark Barroca, JVee Casio, and Dylan Ababou. Filipino-American standouts Greg Slaughter, Chris Lutz, and Marcio Lassiter ultimately joined the core, while former Iran head coach Rajko Toroman was hired to lead the squad. A number other naturalization candidates were also sought out by the program, including CJ Giles, Milan Vucicevic, and ultimately Marcus Douthit, to determine if they would be a good fit for the goal of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. That was the only objective of this three-year effort.
The Philippines is already guaranteed a place in the current FIBA World Cup, but you can see Gilas Pilipinas’ purpose in putting together a more formidable lineup for the next window and giving Filipino fans something to rejoice about with their Puso (heart) mentality. In line with this, Jordan Clarkson from the NBA, 7-footer Kai Sotto from the NBL Australia, and the other Filipino players in the Japan B.League had committed to play and placed a higher value on nationalism and patriotism. While also, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is doing the same, and although though the World Cup is still a year away, it is opening its doors to make its players accessible, particularly those who do not have conflicts in the current PBA calendar.
How the Asian Qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will be executed
According to the implementing rules and regulations from the official website of FIBA , the following should be followed. Sixteen countries from Asia and Oceana across six periods are competing for seven berths in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in Asia and Oceania. Australia, Bahrain, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lebanon, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Syria are among them. Moreover, the Philippines are already qualified as the host of the World Cup’s Final Phase, in addition to the seven seats allotted for Asian qualifiers. These qualified teams will compete in the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.
Consequently, the 16 teams will be grouped into four groups (A-D) of four in the First Round. Over the first three windows, each team will play the other three teams in their group on a home-and-away basis. In each window, each club will play two games. These dates are November 2021, February 2022, and June 2022. The top three teams from each group will proceed to the Asian Qualifiers’ Second Round. This group will be joined by three additional teams to form a new group. Also, the results of the First Round will be carried over for all teams.
Over the last three windows of the Second Round, each club will play home-and-away against the three teams from the opposite group. The Second-Round windows will be in August 2022, November 2022, and February 2023, respectively. In each window, each club will play two games. After these additional six games, the top three teams from each group, in addition to the Philippines and Japan, will qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. If Indonesia is also guaranteed a slot, only the best third-placed team, in addition to the top two teams from each group, will qualify.
Asian Qualifiers will span from November 2021 to February 2023, with national teams playing home and away games during each of these event windows. This assures that there will be frequent and competitive national team games for players to participate and spectators to watch from all over the world. This qualification method is based on the FIBA Competition System, which was successfully implemented for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The following are the FIBA world cup 2023 updates for Gilas Pilipinas
First Round, Window 2: India Vs Philippines
Gilas Pilipinas overcame a rocky start to defeat India 88-64 at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, February 25 for a victorious debut in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. The return of Thirdy Ravena and Dwight Ramos from the Japan B. League proved to be a significant help for the Philippines, as the two teenage standouts steadied the ship when it lacked attacking cohesiveness in the first half. Moreover, Ravena led the way for the hosts, scoring 13 points in the first half to give the hosts a 44-32 lead at the interval before Gilas pulled away for good in the last two halves.
The Philippines ended the third quarter with a decisive 22-8 run highlighted by a buzzer-beating Kib Montalbo three to take a comfortable 68-47 lead. Gilas’ advantage grew to 26 points in the fourth quarter and never fell below 20 as Chot Reyes won his first game back as national team head coach. Finally, Ramos led the way with 7 points in the first quarter and finished with a team-high 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Roger Pogoy had 12 points, 6 of which came in the third quarter, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.
First Round, Window 3: New Zealand Vs Philippines
Gilas Pilipinas lost 88-63 against New Zealand on Sunday, February 27 in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum because they were unable to match their well-executed game plan and ball movement. The Tall Blacks outclassed the Filipino cagers on all fronts, and their shooting difficulties made matters worse as they succumbed to defeat in front of a dejected Big Dome crowd.
On the other hand, there was some good news for Gilas in that Ravena had 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 5 steals while Ramos had 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals. Furthermore, With 20 points each from Tom Vodanovich and Dion Prewster and 15 points and 10 rebounds from big man Rob Loe, five Tall Blacks scored in double figures. Taane Samuel, who competed for La Salle in the UAAP for one season in 2019 as a foreign student athlete, took advantage of the comfortable circumstances by scoring 12 points on a flawless 5-of-5 shooting effort.
First Round, Window 3: New Zealand Vs Philippines
Moving forward, Gilas Pilipinas was again defeated 106-60 by the undefeated New Zealand in their opening game of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand. To close the half at 47-21, the Tall Blacks relied on a solid first half in which they battered the national team and limited them to only eight points against their 24-point spree. In the first quarter, Gilas trailed 23-13. After a poor first half, the national team improved in the third quarter, with Gilas scoring 22 points, but New Zealand maintained a 73-43 advantage heading into the overtime session. Rhenz Abando and Carl Tamayo were the only players from the Philippines to score in double figures, with 11 and 16 points, respectively.
First Round, Window 3: India Vs Philippines
Last Sunday, July 3, Gilas Pilipinas capitalized on an error-plagued India team to win 79-63 and close up the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Mall of Asia Arena. With only 10 players, the Filipinos overcame a sluggish start, due in large part to a shocking 24 turnovers committed by the visitors, as they defeated the Indians twice to conclude the first round with a 2-2 record. The Philippines’ other qualification victory came against India in February, with a 24-point drubbing.
The squad relied on a solid first half, scoring 21 and 24 points in the first two quarters, respectively, while holding India to fewer than 15 points in both. After leading 45-24 at halftime, Gilas became hot from beyond the arc, hitting three three-pointers in the third quarter alone. Gilas had the largest advantage in the quarter, 65-41. India made a comeback in the fourth frame, outscoring the Philippines 19-14, but fell short. Dwight Ramos led the way with 21 points, while Geo Chiu added 11 rebounds and five points to help Gilas finish the first round 2-2. Kiefer Ravena finished with 12 points, ten of which came in the third quarter. Will Navarro led all scorers with 11 points.
Second Round, Window 4: Lebanon vs Philippines
Competing for a spot in the FIBA Basketball World Cup next year. Lebanon and the Philippines had squared off last Thursday, August 25 keeping Filipinos awake early dawn as the game was held at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Zouk Mikhael, Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast.
Lebanon, led by Wael Arakji, defeated the Philippines in the Asia Cup group stage and advanced to the final, where it was defeated by defending champion Australia by just two points. As the recently crowned “Best Point Guard in Asia,” Arakji provides a significant challenge to the Filipinos, having won the Asia Cup MVP award with averages of 26 points, 4 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.8 steals.
Second Round, Window 4: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Vs Philippines
The Philippines defeated Saudi Arabia by 38 points, 84-46, in their 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifying game on Monday, buoyed by a boisterous crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena, providing a rare feeling of accomplishment for Philippine basketball despite the contentious “booing” of Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
Prior to returning to the NBA, Jordan Clarkson gave his fellow Filipino people a spectacular 23-point, 5-rebound, and 6-assist performance. He kept his promise to bring a victory in his first home game for Gilas. After a sluggish start, he and Dwight Ramos gave the home team some energy, allowing the Philippines to pull away before halftime before a 23-point third quarter established advantages as wide as 25 points, 61-36. Gilas Pilipinas destroyed the visitors 24-8 in the third quarter, riding high on the momentum Clarkson created, and never looked back on route to the 38-point slaughter. With 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks, Kai Sotto outscored Clarkson, and Ramos added 9 points and 6 rebounds as the Philippines turned things around.
Upcoming Games for Gilas Pilipinas to lookout for
- Jordan Vs Philippines
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Vs Philippines
- Lebanon Vs Philippines
- Jordan Vs Philippines
As of this day, the current win-loss ratio of the Gilas Pilipinas is 3-3 ranking third below Lebanon in the group E window and is guaranteed to have a secured slot having been qualified. Through six active qualifying windows, a total of 80 national teams are vying for a spot in the 32 team FIBA World Cup. The hosting is expected on August 25, 2023, the World Cup group stage will take place across the three host nations, with the championship match taking place in Manila. On September 10, 2023, the World Cup championship will take place.