Mar 27, 2024

Gilas 3x3 hopes for better finish in FIBA Asia Cup campaign

GILAS Pilipinas leaves for Singapore on Thursday to see action in the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup at the Singapore Sports Hub.

The core of the multi-titled TNT Triple Giga of Ping Exciminiano, Gryann Mendoza, and Chester Saldua will be joined by Joseph Sedurifa in the March 27-31 continental showcase featuring the best 3x3 teams all over the region.

Coach Mau Belen will call the shots for the sixth seeded Filipinos, who are bracketed in Pool C together with no. 3 Japan and the top finisher in Pool C of the qualifying draw involving powerhouse Australia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tahiti.

Sedurifa, a vital cog in the country's silver medal finish in the men's 3x3 event of the last Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, takes the place of the injured Almond Vosotros.

Last year, the quartet of Vosotros, Jorey Napoles, Samboy De Leon, and Brandon Bates failed to advance in the knockout phase after losing its games against Qatar and Iran in Pool D of the preliminaries.

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Belen, architect of TNT's six championships including a grand slam in the 2022-23 season, said the obvious target is to improve on last year's finish, and possibly a place on the podium.

"We're aiming to finish better than we did last year. And if kaya, target the podium once we crack a seat in the quarterfinals," said the champion coach, one of the awardees in the 1st Women in Sports Awards Night at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum recently.

The qualifier is set March 27-28 followed by the preliminary stage and then the knockout round.

Already qualified in the main draw are China and Singapore (Pool A), defending champion Mongolia and Thailand (Pool B), Japan and Philippines (Pool C), and New Zealand and Qatar (Pool D).

Only the top two teams in each pool will advance to the knockout phase. (RG)

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