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Gilas eyes morale-boosting win vs Lebanon in FIBA Asia Cup classification round

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas has a 48-hour period to pick up the pieces of its shattering loss to Korea, and hopefully regain form and fighting spirit as it faces host Lebanon in the classification round of the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut Saturday.

Denied by the Koreans of a Final Four berth, the Nationals can claim fifth spot with a pair of wins in the closing weekend matches of the 12-day, 16-nation meet.

Gilas Pilipinas. Philippine Star photo
Gilas Pilipinas and Lebanon slug it out in a duel for a spot in the battle for fifth place. The loser will be relegated in the fight for seventh spot.

The Filipinos crushed the Lebanese, 82-70, in an emotional quarterfinals match in Changsha in 2015.

Coach Tab Baldwin and the Gilas quintet then took to heart a pre-game statement by the Team Lebanon coach that they could easily match up with the Filipinos even in the absence then of Lebanese star Fadi El-Katib.

But Andray Blatche and his teammates proved the Lebanese wrong.


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