Tonight, Japan against the Gilas-Philippines in FIBA Asia 2013. The Land of the Rising Sun owns a 12-8 record against the Philippines but they have lost their last two meets, 83-76, and 78-69. The first phase is over and Gilas Pilipinas enters the second round with hopes of bouncing back from its sorry loss on Saturday night, August 3.
In the 2011 match up, Marcus Douthit led the Philippines with 25 points and 18 rebounds while Joji Takeuchi led Japan with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Holdovers for the Philippines from that team include Jimmy Alapag (15 points) and Ranidel De Ocampo (4 points). For Japan, the only left from that encounter in Wuhan is Kosuke Takeuchi who scored six points and Keijuro Matsui and Ryota Sakurai who were both scoreless in that match. Japan led that match in the first half until that big third quarter by the Philippines.
The Philippines’ Gabe Norwood played in the 2009 match up where he scored three points in 18 minutes. He is the only one from that squad that played in Tianjin. Kosuke Takeuchi and Ryota Sakurai played in 2009 with the latter scoring 14 points. Gilas Pilipinas hopes to regroup and rebuild confidence and momentum as it tangles with Japan at the start of the second round of elimination phase of the 27th FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City today.
Three teams are out after the first round elims, leaving 12 remaining combatants (carrying over their first round win-loss records) to fight it out for the eight spots in the knockout stage beginning Friday. The 12 remaining teams have been reclassified into two brackets with Gilas Pilipinas (1-1) bunched with Chinese Taipei (2-0), Qatar (2-0), Japan (1-1), Jordan (0-2) and Hong Kong (0-2) in Group E, and Iran (2-0), Kazakhstan (2-0), Korea (1-1), Bahrain (1-1), China (0-2) and India (0-2) in Group F.
Other games on tap at the Monday resumption of play pit Qatar versus Jordan at 10:30 a.m., Iran against India at 12:45 p.m., Taipei opposite Hong Kong at 3 p.m., Kazakhstan versus China at 5:45 p.m. and Korea against Bahrain at 10:30 p.m. Malaysia and Thailand square off at 6 p.m. in a lone consolation round match at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
The Japanese could have been the Group B top finisher if not for their endgame meltdown against the Qataris Gilas’ similar fate against Chinese Taipei. Gilas Pilipinas and Japan are out to stay close to the leaders in their showdown, which is likely to draw another mammoth crowd at the MOA Arena. The Taiwanese are fancied to roll on versus the Hong Kong squad while the Qataris are tipped to face a tough challenge from the Jordanians.
Once more, Japan led in the first half before the Philippines unloaded on them in the third period and continued to pour it on in the fourth.
The 2013 FIBA Asia Championship for Men is the intercontinental championship for basketball organized by FIBA Asia that serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
The tournament will be held from August 1–11 in Manila, Philippines. Beirut, Lebanon was supposed to host the tournament but the hosting rights was given to the Philippines citing the Syrian civil war and security concerns in the Middle East in general. In the other group, the China-Kazakhstan showdown is the game to watch.