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Eliminations, Today - 2:00PM - Smart Araneta Coliseum
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons/ (1-10) 18 35 52 69
Far Eastern University Tamaraws/ (9-2) 19 35 53 75
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Eliminations, Today - 4:00PM - Smart Araneta Coliseum
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers/ (5-5) 13 30 46
Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles/ (7-3) 19 38 50
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Eliminations, Today - 2:30pm - San Juan Arena
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
San Beda College Red Lions/ (10-2) 9 26 53 78
College of St. Benilde Blazers (7-5) 16 21 34 54
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Today - 7:00pm - CIS Arena
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Saigon Heat/
Laskar Dreya South Sumatra/

Gilas Pilipinas players (from left): Jimmy Alapag, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro. FIBA

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines is back at the FIBA World Cup for the first time in 36 years since it last participated in the 1978 world championships held in Manila.

How will Gilas Pilipinas fare in Spain against the teams they will meet in Group B?

According to basketball analyst Enzo Flojo, the nationals will have their biggest chances against Senegal and Puerto Rico.

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FIBA World Cup

SEVILLE – The Philippine national men’s basketball team will be looking to make a splash in Group B of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and much of their hopes depend on naturalized NBA player Andray Blatche.

While Blatche is expected to take Gilas Pilipinas, which finished runner-up in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships with Marcus Douthit as their naturalized player, to another level, there are some concerns about the former Brooklyn Nets big man, especially his tendency to be a bit of a ball-stopper that can disrupt the flow of the Philippine offense.

But Gilas coach Chot Reyes told InterAksyon.com that the team has no problem with adjusting to Blatche’s game – taking the good with the bad.

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FIBA World Cup

PBA superstar James Yap may not be part of the Gilas Pilipinas roster for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, but it looks like he'll be in Spain supporting the national team... as a fan.

After a month-long vacation with his girlfriend in Italy, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers top gun posted a photo of an airport boarding screen with the caption: "Off to Seville."

Gilas will plays its games in Group B in the Spanish city.

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NBA

BILBAO, Spain -- The San Antonio Spurs have expressed interest in signing Mexico star center Gustavo Ayon, ESPN.com has learned.

Ayon ranks as one of the top free agents playing at the FIBA World Cup starting Saturday in Spain and, according to league sources, has emerged as a late-summer target for the NBA's reigning champions.

Sources say San Antonio remains determined to re-sign Australian center Aron Baynes -- who will square off against Ayon on Wednesday when the Aussies meet Mexico in Group D play -- but has identified Ayon as both a potential Baynes replacement or a possible addition to the roster even if a new deal with Baynes is worked out.

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Gilas Pilipinas in their historic win over Korea in last year's FIBA Asia Championships. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

And it all comes down to this.

After more than 35 years, the Philippines makes its return to the global stage as Gilas Pilipinas begins their historic campaign against Croatia in the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Saturday at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes in Seville, Spain.

The Gilas Pilipinas battle European power Croatia at 6:30 p.m. live on TV5.

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A peek at Gilas Pilipinas’ foes (August 30, 2014)
Manuel Cinco [ Source: Inquirer ]

THE PHILIPPINES’ Andray Blatche (left) will lead the Gilas charge. AFP

GILAS Pilipinas is in Group B of the Fiba World Cup along with Argentina, Puerto Rico, Greece, Croatia and Senegal. Before they go to battle, let’s take a closer look at the Filipinos’ opponents.

ARGENTINA

Ranked third by Fiba in the world, Argentina will be missing the services of superstar Manu Ginobili due to a foot injury. Despite this, head coach Julio Lamas will still have a solid squad spearheaded by the 2004 Olympics gold medalists Luis Scola of the Indiana Pacers, Andres Nocioni, Leonardo Gutierrez and Walter Hermann.

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FIBA World Cup

Before being rechristened the Basketball World Cup, international body FIBA's top competition was known as the World Championship.

On Saturday, the national team will return to the tournament for the first time in 36 years, when Gilas Pilipinas takes the court against Croatia.

Despite the prolonged absence, it's a tournament where the Philippines has a rich history, having competed in the tournament four times, and winning a medal once. Here's a look back at the Philippines' previous stints in the basketball world stage.

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FIBA World Cup players to watch (August 30, 2014)
Michael Lee [ Source: Washington Post ]

Anthony Davis rests between plays during the USA Basketball Showcase game Aug. 1 in Las Vegas. (John Locher/Associated Press)

The list of players who decided not to participate in the FIBA World Cup in Spain this summer could form an incredible team – Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, LaMarcus Aldridge and Russell Westbrook, among others – and that wouldn’t even include the player who had the highest scoring average at the 2012 London Olympics.

But even without Patty Mills – yes, it was Mills, not Durant, who came away with those honors – there is still enough talent to produce some entertaining basketball over the next few weeks. The tournament, which features 50 current NBA players, begins Saturday and will give less-established players an opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Several stars have elected to put national pride at the forefront once again. With the help of the naturalized Serge Ibaka, the Gasol brothers, Marc and Pau, are looking to lead the host nation to an upset of the United States to earn an automatic berth in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Brazil, led by Nene, Anderson Varejao, Tiago Splitter and Leandro Barbosa, is also expected to pose a threat to the Americans reign in the past three international competitions.

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Familiar names in the FIBA Basketball World Cup (August 30, 2014)
Brian Mahoney [ Source: Yahoo! ]

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2014, file photo, Brooklyn Nets' Andray Blatche, left, tries to move past New York Knicks' Tyson Chandler during an NBA basketball game in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Kevin Durant stands front and center in a billboard that hangs high above the outside of the arena where the U.S. will play its first-round games at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

But he's not here. Neither are Spurs teammates Tony Parker of France and Manu Ginobili of Argentina. They're all sitting this one out. Plenty of big names remain, from Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving with the Americans to Spain's Gasol brothers.

There are also players and coaches who are lesser known but still familiar names, though a few of them are with unfamiliar teams.

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Los Angeles Clippers waive Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica (August 30, 2014)
Arash Markazi [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers waived Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Raduljica just three days after trading for both players, the team announced Friday.

On Tuesday the Clippers traded Jared Dudley and a protected first-round pick in 2017 for Delfino and Raduljica, but it was a move intended to create roster and salary-cap flexibility. Delfino and Raduljica were waived using the stretch provision, freeing up $3.5 million for the Clippers to sign players to veteran's minimum contracts.

The Clippers had until Sunday to waive both players under the provision that will stretch out the remaining salaries of Delfino and Raduljica over five years.

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