Gilas Pilipinas Prepares for Paris Olympic Qualifying Tournament with European Journey Ahead

Gilas Pilipinas Prepares for Paris Olympic Qualifying Tournament with European Journey Ahead

Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine men’s national basketball team, is gearing up for a challenging journey ahead as they set their sights on the Paris Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) scheduled for next year. With a roadmap already laid out, head coach Tim Cone and his squad are preparing to face a lineup of European powerhouses in their quest for a spot in the Summer Olympics.

Cone revealed that Gilas has received invitations from European teams such as Slovenia, led by superstar Luka Doncic, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic, for OQT preparations. These encounters are seen as crucial opportunities for Gilas to test their mettle against top-tier competition, laying the groundwork for their campaign in the OQT.

The Philippine team finds itself in Group A of the six-team OQT, alongside Georgia and rising powerhouse Latvia. With Latvia emerging as a formidable force in international basketball, currently ranked 8th in the world, Gilas faces a formidable challenge in their pursuit of Olympic qualification. The OQT, slated for July 2-7 in Riga, Latvia, will feature tough competition, with only the top team from each group advancing to Paris.

Despite the tight schedule and logistical challenges, Cone emphasized the importance of continuity within the team, opting for a 12-man core for every tournament. Gilas’ recent 2-0 start in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers serves as a positive sign of progress, but Cone acknowledges that there is still work to be done to elevate the team’s performance to the next level.

As Gilas Pilipinas continues its preparations for the OQT, the upcoming matchups against European giants will provide valuable insights and opportunities for growth. With aspirations of representing the Philippines on the global stage, the team remains focused and determined to overcome the challenges ahead and make their mark in international basketball.

“This 2-0 start is great, but that’s a little, baby step on the way. We need to make a lot bigger strides. We’ve got Latvia and Georgia coming up so, can we get to that level?” Cone emphasized. “That’s gonna answer more questions for us.” With resilience, determination, and a commitment to excellence, Gilas Pilipinas stands ready to face whatever challenges lie ahead on their journey to Olympic qualification.