09 - 18
September 2016
Gilas Cadets
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Reyes: 'The most important thing is the experience'

MANILA (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) - Philippines coach Josh Reyes admits that the FIBA Asia Challenge will be the perfect tournament for Gilas’ news players to gain experience and learn playing at a high level.

The new look Gilas squad will travel to Tehran with a roster almost entirely made up of amateur level standouts, but they will be without two key players in Kiefer Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks

Both Parks and Ravena, who were included in the initial 24-man preliminary roster, will instead focus on their dreams to make it to the NBA. 

Despite all the disappointments and disadvantage heading to the FIBA Asia Challenge, Reyes remains confident and expects his players to go all out.

“Of course, all of us are going into the tournament to win, but at the same time, we know that the most important thing is the experience and them learning to play at this level,” he said.

#labanpilipinas🇵🇭 #basketballneverstops

A photo posted by Josh Reyes (@joshreyes8) on

The Philippines are in Group B and will face 2014 FIBA Asia Cup silver medalists Chinese Taipei and Asia’s rising force, India.

All three teams will them merge with Group A in the second round, which means the Philippines will get to play against 2008 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup winners Jordan, Kazakhstan and rivals China

“If you look at all the teams, there’s really no easy grouping. We’ll just try our best to compete with these teams,” he said. 

“Hopefully, we can sneak a few wins here and there. But really, these kids need a lot of experience and that’s what these games are for,” said Reyes.

Paul Lee’s three memorable free-throws gave Gilas the win over the hosts China and the bronze medal in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan. A similar story in Tehran will be considered a massive success for the new Gilas program. 

The top five teams in the FIBA Asia Challenge will earn for their respective sub-zones an extra berth in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup (formerly the FIBA Asia Championship).