Friday, August 2, 2013

The Philippines in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship

For the first time in 40 years and for the third time in history, the Philippines will host the FIBA Asia Championship (formerly known as the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship). The Philippines hosted the inaugural Asian Championship in 1960 and the 1973 edition with the Philippine national team winning both tournaments.

The Philippines, with the home crowd behind them and a good home record, will be one of the favourites along with defending Asian champions China and reigning William Jones Cup champions Iran.

The national team, Gilas Pilipinas, got only few months and only managed basketball training tours to Lithuania and New Zealand after being "uninvited" and prevented from defending its William Jones Cup title by host nation, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei).

The Philippines will face Saudi Arabia, Jordan and longtime rival Taiwan in the group stage.


First Round (Group A):
In the opening game, Saudi Arabia almost gave the Philippines a run for their money but crucial defensive plays in the fourth quarter, including a couple of block shots by Japeth Aguilar, keeps the lead for the locals and secure victory. The second game, on the other hand, Jordan lead the game for most of the first half until the Philippine defense took over early in the second half and started an offensive run to secure victory behind Gabe Norwood's excellent leadership in defense and a Caidic-esque performance by Jeff Chan (scoring 17 points, including 5 three-points shots). In the third game, despite the heroic shooting from Larry Fonacier, Chinese Taipei secured a come-from-behind victory over the Philippines in a game marked by three-point shots with both teams combine for 25 three-point field goals made.

Second Round (Group E):
In the Second Round, the Philippines record its biggest win in this year's tournament so far, trashing Japan by 19 points. Marcus Douthit leading the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds along with Jeff Chan's terrific shooting display and Japeth Aguilar's high-flying offensive game. In their fifth game of the tournament, the national team dominated the first half against Qatar but almost lost the presence of Marcus Douthit in the second half due to injury. He ended the game with another double-double and once again a big help from both Jeff Chan and Japeth Aguilar. In their final elimination game, they played one of their worst half in the tournament before clawing their way back and secured a come-from-behind win over a brave Hong Kong team. Once again, Marcus Douthit and Jeff Chan carried the team to victory and finished top on Group E.

Knockout Stage:
In the quarterfinals, the Philippines trashed Kazakhstan by 30 points with local favourite Gary David scoring 22 points. The Philippines has now reached the semi-finals of the second Asian Championships in a row. In the semi-finals, the Philippines beat their 'bogey' team South Korea for the first time since the 1985 edition. Marc Pingris, Jimmy Alapag, Jason Castro and heck pretty much almost everyone in the team made major contributions in the Philippines' come-from-behind victory over their Far Eastern rival. The Philippines has now secured its first FIBA World Cup qualification since 1986 and its first appearance since the 1978 FIBA World Championship.

In the finals, fresh from their biggest win since the 2012 William Jones Cup, the Philippine nationals loss to the most dominant Asian team for the last six years, reigning William Jones Cup champions Iran. In consolation, Jayson Castro William was named in the FIBA Asia Mythical Five along with tournament's Most Valuable Player Hamed Hadadi of Iran. The Philippines has now captured its 9th Asian Championship medal and just its third silver medal finished in history

Win-Loss Record: 7-2
Gilas Pilipinas squad in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship

Gilas Pilipinas Roster:
  • Japeth Aguilar
  • Jimmy Alapag (c)
  • Jayson Castro William
  • Jeffrei Allan Chan
  • Gary David
  • Ranidel De Ocampo
  • Marcus Douthit
  • June Mar Fajardo 
  • Larry Alexander Fonacier
  • Gabriel Daniel Norwood
  • Jean Marc Pingris
  • Lewis Alfred Tenorio

Head Coach: Vincent "Chot" Reyes
Assistant Coaches: Ryan Gregorio, Jong Uichico, Norman Black, Nash Racela
Team Consultants/Advisors: Tim Cone, Rajko Toroman, Tab Baldwin
Reserves/Injury List: Beau Belga, Greg Slaughter, Kelly Williams, Jared Dillinger, Matthew Ganuelas, Sony Thoss, Ryan Reyes

- 2013 FIBA Asia Championship Silver Medal
- 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualification
- Jayson Castro (FIBA Asia Mythical Five Selections)

Philippine Basketball Record in the Asian Championship:

1960: 1st place (gold)
1963: 1st place (gold)
1965: 2nd place (silver)
1967: 1st place (gold)
1969: 3rd place (bronze)
1971: 2nd place (silver)
1973: 1st place (gold)
1975: 5th place
1977: 5th place
1979: 4th place
1981: 4th place
1983: 9th place
1985: 1st place (gold)
1987: 4th place
1989: 8th place
1991: 7th place
1993: 11th place
1995: 12th place
1997: 9th place
1999: 11th place
2001: suspended
2003: 15th place
2005: suspended
2007: 9th place
2009: 8th place
2011: 4th place
2013: 2nd place (silver)

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