Monday, December 11, 2023
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Young guns for FIBA Asia Cup –

MANILA, Philippines — Invitations will be extended to UAAP standouts Ange Kouame, Justine Baltazar, Carl Tamayo and Dave Ildefonso to represent the country in the FIBA Asia Cup in Jakarta on July 12 to 24 as Gilas program head Chot Reyes recently bared plans of “going younger” in the 16-team tournament where host Indonesia must finish no lower than eighth to book an automatic ticket to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
The Philippines and Japan are guaranteed slots to the World Cup as co-hosts but Indonesia must work its way in despite being a third co-host. In the FIBA Asia Cup, the Philippines is bracketed in Group D with India, Lebanon and New Zealand. After the single-round eliminations, the top teams in the four groups move to the quarterfinals while the No. 2 and No. 3 teams battle in a cross-over KO game to decide the four others to advance. Group D teams will face Group C squads (Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Syria) in the cross-overs.
Reyes also disclosed that 6-6 Fil-Am Caelum Harris will lead the national team in the FIBA Asia qualifiers for the U17 World Cup. The FIBA Asia qualifiers will be held on June 12 to 19 in Doha and the top four finishers will represent the continent in the U17 World Cup in Malaga, Spain, on July 2 to 10.
“The U17 team is now in the thick of practice with coach Josh (Reyes),” said Reyes. “We thought of Caelum for the SEA Games but it would be difficult for him with two focal points. If he plays in Hanoi, Caelum will miss 10 to 12 days of practice with the U17 team. He’s the leader of our U17 team and we’re hoping he can join the seniors maybe in the third window (against India on June 30 and New Zealand on July 3) of the FIBA Asia World Cup qualifiers. Caelum is doing very well, he’s improving, getting used to the Pinoy style, the physicality. He’s practicing twice a day, once with the seniors and once with the U17 team. It’s the same with the PBA players who practice with us and their mother teams every day. The kuyas on the team going to Hanoi are role-modelling like Mo (Tautuaa) who’s never absent and never late and JuneMar (Fajardo) who’s showing an unbelievable work ethic.” is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!



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