Gilas Pilipinas vs. China Match Preview (Asian Game 2018):
The Gilas Pilipinas will face Asia’s dominant basketball squad, China at exactly 5:00 PM tonight (Philippine Time). It wil be the second assignment of the Philippine Team after they hammered Kazakhstan in the preliminary match with the final score of 96-59 or a 37-point advantage securing a spot in the Quarterfinals for Group D.
The Chinese national basketball squad will be having its first game against the Philippines in the Asian Games which will feature two Chinese NBA players in their line-up namely the 7’1″ Zhou Qi (#15 NT) of the Houston Rockets and Ding Yanyuhang (#8 NT) of the Dallas Mavericks.
In terms of height the Chinese squad had the advantage but in terms of age the Chinese squad is much younger compared to Gilas Pilipinas but China had more experience playing together in various international basketball competitions. Some members of the Chinese squad already faced Gilas Pilipinas in the 2015 FIBA Asia.
The Chinese national team ranked 5th during the 2014 Asian Games after they dominated the Men’s Basketball tournamen from 1986 winning the gold medals until 2010. It was only in 2002 that China won the Silver Medal after South Korea won against them with a narrow margin. In the 2018 Asian Games, the Chinese squad promised redemption to re-capture the glory days of basketball in Asia after a dismal fifth place finish in 2014 Asian Games.
Watch the Gilas vs. Kazakhstan Highlights:
The Gilas Pilipinas on the other hand will play against China in the afternoon featuring one of the most prominent NBA guards in the person of Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson who played first for the Los Angeles Lakers as a starter and right now strutting his wares with the championship NBA squad Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Philippines needs to win its preliminary game against China although both Gilas and China are expected to move on to the next round of the Asian Games, the Philippines would need a win to avoid a tough draw in the knockout quarterfinals. A loss with would put Gilas in a possible collision with old nemesis and Asian tormentor South Korea while a win against China should put the national team in a showdown with host Indonesia for a semis slot.
Although the Chinese squad remain the favourites and Philippines is still the underdog, this time around the Philippines is a different team with an NBA Player guard in the person of Jordan Clarkson, a member of the First Rookie Team in the NBA during the 2017 season. Clarkson is not the only experienced US-based player, there are at least four Gilas Players who played with the US NCAA. China will also remember that they were beaten by Gilas Pilipinas at the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon just over a year ago.
According to Gilas Assistant Coach Ryan Gregorio, in the Chinese squad he identified Zhou, 2.03-metre Abudushalumu Audurxiti and 2.13-metre Wang Zhelin as dangers, along with Ding. China definitely bring their best basketball team in the Asian Games 2018.
“Abudushalamu has a body of a power forward with the quickness of a guard. Zhou Qi is a seven-foot-one NBA player. He’s tall and quick. He has a range thar can extend to the three-point range. “He has great anticipation skills on defence. Wang Zhelin is a seven-feet centre. He is quick on his feet and has a polished inside moves. He is hard to stop inside the paint.
“Ding is an NBA player. Small forward. Quick and strong. Has long range. We are banking on our quickness. We lacked the height and length but we can compensate with our quickness and intelligence.”