Zaid Abbas (JOR) - Qatar v Jordan, 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, Changsha - CSWC Dayun (People's Republic of China), Second Round, 27 September 2015

AMMAN (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) - Jordan will have half of their roster from the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship when they travel to Tehran to participate in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge in September.

Sam Daghles has included Mousa Al Alawadi, Ahmed Al Hamarsheh, Mohammad Hussein, Ali Zaghab, Malek Kanaan and Zaid Abbas – members of the squad that finished ninth in Changsha-Hunan – in this year’s event.

Zaid Abbas was one of Jordan’s few bright spots in Changsha. He finished second behind naturalized Alex Legion in scoring (13 points per game) and led the team in rebounding with 8 rebounds per contest

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21 Aigars Skele (LAT) - 3 Naoto Tsuji (JPN) - Japan v Latvia, FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Belgrade - Belgrade Arena (Serbia), Group Phase, 4 July 2016

TOKYO (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) – Japan's OQT star player Naoto Tsuji has been named in Japan's final roster for the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge.

Tsuji skipped the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha-Hunan, but he starred for the Akatsuki Five at the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Serbia.

The 27-year-old is considered one of the cornerstones of this Japan team. His versatility, quickness and three-point shooting ability will be key for the Akatsuki Five in Tehran. This certainly looks to be in-line with what national team coach Kenji Hasegawa is planning for his squad.

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Gilas Pilipinas suffers heartbreak against China. Photo: FIBA

MANILA, Philippines – Two weeks after the end of the tournament, Gilas Pilipinas' heartbreaking loss to China in the gold medal game of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship still pains defensive-minded swingman Gabe Norwood.

The Nationals settled for silver after bowing to China, 67-78, and missed out on a chance of earning a slot to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

It was a truly painful loss for a team that defeated 2013 champion Iran in the group rounds and overcame a tough challenge from Japan in the semi-final to advance to the finals for the second straight tournament.

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Jayson Castro in action against China. FIBA photo

MANILA, Philippines - No doubt about it, Jayson Castro is Asia’s No. 1 point guard. He was named to the All-Star Five at the end of the recent FIBA Asia Championships in Changsha with China center Yi Jianlian, Iran shooting forward Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, China off-guard Guo Ailun and China power forward Zhou Qi.

While there may be some debate on the other choices, Castro was a lock at point guard in the mythical lineup. It’s the second straight FIBA Asia tournament where the 29-year-old Gilas spitfire was picked as Asia’s top quarterback.

In Changsha, Castro was approached by several scouts and agents, including some from the US, about the possibility of playing

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Jayson Castro. FIBA photo

Former PBA coach Franz Pumaren was a member of the last Philippine national men’s basketball that won the FIBA Asia (then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation) Championship in 1986.

He was also part of the national team again in 1994, teaming up with Purefoods stars Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, and Rey Evangelista and then rising star Johnny Abarrientos of Alaska to the Asian Games in Hiroshima.

The multi-titled collegiate coach has seen the evolution of the national program from the days where amateur players represented the country to today’s game where teams send their best professionals to major international tournaments.

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 Alex Compton (right) with Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin during practice. Philippine Star photo

MANILA, Philippines – Coach Alex Compton is thankful with his journey with Gilas Pilipinas, saying he learned a lot that he can use with his Alaska Milk team in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Compton said he gained much knowledge and wisdom from coach Tab Baldwin that he can impart to his Alaska coaching staff including Louie Alas, Jeff Cariaso, Topex Robinson, Monch Gavieres and Franco Atienza.

He also considered as priceless the experience gained by his players Calvin Abueva, Dondon Hontiveros and Sonny Thoss.

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Terrence Romeo against an Iranian defender. Photo from

One of the biggest revelation Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship, Terrence Romeo expressed his eagerness to once again don the national colors.

“Ready ako anytime para sa Pilipinas (I’m ready anytime for the Philippines.),” the cat-quick guard said in a video taken by Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Musong Castillo in Changsa, China.

Romeo, a newbie in the national team but made heads turn with a fantastic showing in the Jones Cup, is taking the lessons from the defeat to China in the Fiba Asia final by heart.

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