The FIBA Asia 2016 is all set to kick off on Friday (Sept. 9), with 12 teams competing to qualify for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.
All eyes are on a couple of teams in FIBA Asia 2016 as they about to introduce their new roster of younger players. The Philippines and the host country Iran recently announced their respective younger lineup. Many critics and fans believe that this will change the game dynamics of the two teams.
The Philippine’s Gilas 5.0 also received backlash for deciding to compete without even a single professional player. According to the official FIBA website, Gilas 5.0 has struggled recently in two tune-up games against collegiate opponents before the team left for Iran.
Check out the full FIBA Asia 2016 schedule below.
Gilas player Kevin Ferrer, however, expressed confidence that the younger team will perform remarkably in Tehran. “The negative comments will motivate us to do well in the FIBA Asia Challenge and prove our doubters wrong. We will get our act together when it matters, especially when we represent the colors of our country,” Ferrer said.
Gilas coach Josh Reyes agreed and said FIBA Asia 2016 will be the perfect event for his players to gain experience in playing at a high level.
Philippines’ Gilas 5.0 will go up against India on the first day of the competition. The game starts at 8:45 p.m. Friday (1 a.m. Saturday Manila time). The top five teams that will reach the finals will secure an extra berth in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup (formerly the FIBA Asia Championship). The tournament will conclude on September 18.
Full FIBA Asia 2016 Schedule
September 9 (Friday)
- China vs Jordan
- Philippines vs India
- Iran vs Qatar
- Japan vs South Korea
September 10 (Saturday)
- Jordan vs Kazakhstan
- India vs Chinese Taipei
- Qatar vs Iraq
- South Korea vs Thailand
September 11 (Sunday)
- Kazakhstan vs China
- Chinese Taipei vs Philippines
- Iraq vs Iran
- Thailand vs Japan