Gilas Pilipinas are three wins away from a Rio Olympic berth. The quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Championships will kick-off today. Gilas takes on Lebanon in the scheduled fourth quarterfinal on Thursday.
2:30 p.m. – Iran vs South Korea
4:45 p.m. – Japan vs Qatar
7:30 p.m. – India vs China
9:30 p.m. – Philippines vs Lebanon
Lebanon are only three places behind Gilas in the FIBA rankings at 34.
“It’s the quarterfinals and you can throw all the records out now. Throw the wins and the losses now. It’s do or die,” said Gilas coach Tab Baldwin.
Each and every member of the Gilas camp on Wednesday’s final practice session reiterated that they are determined to clinch the gold medal and lead the country to an Olympic berth for the first time since 1972 in Munich.
The Lebanese side is coached by Serbian Veselin Matic. They finished fourth in group F.
“We’re on a different level? No. We’re both quarterfinalists,” said Baldwin, pertaining to how both teams have equal chances of heading toward the semifinals.
“Lebanon is a strong team. They came here to advance deep in this tournament. They’ve placed to do that. We’ve placed better to do that. But the second round doesn’t matter now.”
Hosts China will take on India in another match-up. China is expected to play the finals at home.