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Gilas heads to Tokyo for clash with Japanese

MANILA, Philippines – Naturalized player Andray Blatche, frontline partner June Mar Fajardo and ace playmaker Jayson Castro lead the 16-man Gilas pool departing for Tokyo Tuesday morning, three days ahead of their faceoff with Japan in the opener of the FIBA Asia World Cup qualifiers at the Komazawa Gymnasium in the Japan capital.

Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy and Allein Maliksi are the other candidates in the Gilas team out to get the country to a winning start in this home-and-away qualifying series involving 14 other Asian and Oceania teams.

File photo of Gilas Pilipinas in practice. Philippine Star
Coach Chot Reyes and team manager Butch Antonio lead the delegation flying to Tokyo via a PAL flight at 8:55 a.m.

The Filipinos and the Japanese, fierce rivals in the early years of Asian basketball competitions, clash at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Chinese Taipei plays host against Australia, Kazakhstan visits Qatar while Iraq enjoys the home-court advantage against Iran on the same day.

On Thursday, it’s New Zealand versus Korea in Wellington, China against Hong Kong in Nanjing, and Syria opposite Jordan, and Lebanon versus India both at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Zouk Mikael, Lebanon.

Author: Nelson Beltran, Philippine Star
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/11/20/1760784/gilas-heads-tokyo-clash-japanese

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