The knock out games of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship starts today (Oct. 1) and Gilas Pilipinas will go up against Lebanon tonight.
Gilas secured the top seed in Group E of the tournament and entered the quarterfinals after defeating India, 99-65, early this week.
According to Rappler, if the Philippine basketball men’s team won against Lebanon today, Gilas will face either Japan or Qatar next.
All eyes are on Gilas after they won against Iran, 87-73, last Monday. FIBA had said Gilas’ victory over Iran was the first time in recent memory at the FIBA Asia Championship tournament.
Qatar, on the other hand, had not been expected to advance this far in the tournament since their training camp only begun in early August, Rappler noted. However, the team has proven they are also a squad to beat as they made it to the next round after defeating Lebanon in two overtimes, 105-100.
Watch Gilas Pilipinas vs Lebanon at 9:30 pm (PHL Time) today here.
Six other teams will play today in the tournament’s quarterfinals in Changsha, China.
Meanwhile, Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson wished Gilas good luck for its upcoming games.
Clarkson had been considered to be part of Gilas Pilipinas in FIBA Asia tournament and he already joined the team’s practices. However, he failed to process his eligibility in time and his commitment with the Los Angeles Lakers also ruled him out of joining Gilas, Interaskyon reported.
Clarkson was quoted in saying during Lakes’ media day, “I hope they make it to Rio Olympics and have the opportunity to keep the team and play well. That’s definitely gonna be good.”
When Gilas suffered a heartbreaking loss to Palestine, Clarkson shared some words of encouragement for Gilas on his social media accounts.
Interaskyon noted if Gilas won the 2015 FIBA Asian Championship and qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics, Clarkson is expected to support the Philippine team.