MANILA, Philippines–Barring any major change, the Philippines will be using nearly the same roster it used two nights ago when it shoots for a sweep of the sixth and final window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday.
Gilas Pilipinas, now just battling for pride and continued development, is set to bring in versatile forward Kevin Quiambao when it hosts Jordan 6 p.m. at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The La Salle ace is replacing TNT standout Calvin Oftana, according to a list obtained by the Inquirer on Sunday.
Both the Philippines (6-3) and Jordan (5-4) are going into the duel oozing with confidence. Gilas is coming off a 107-96 conquest of old tormentor Lebanon. The Falcons, meanwhile, have already clinched a spot in the main tournament and are also fresh off a victory of their own following a 98-63 whipping of Saudi Arabia.
The two nations are set to figure in a no-bearing game, but the contest should help spur the winner’s growth ahead of the global showcase set here in August.
Quiambao, an undersized big man, made his Gilas debut during the second window of the Asian qualifiers, dazzling Filipino fans with his playmaking.
He went on to serve under Chot Reyes in the Asia Cup in Indonesia where turned in his finest game in a Gilas uniform. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists against regional powerhouse New Zealand.
With Quiambao in the fold, Gilas could space the floor even better without having to give up its play in the interior.
He will be backstopping Justin Brownlee, Mason Amos, June Mar Fajardo, Jamie Malonzo, CJ Perez, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Scottie Thompson, Ray Parks Jr. Jordan Heading, and cornerstone Dwight Ramos who is set to be the only Gilas player to have played in each qualifying window.
Jordan is set to bring the same crew that whipped the Saudis.
Led by naturalized player Dar Tucker and spitfire guard Freddie Ibrahim, the Falcons are also seeking to avenge a 74-66 home loss it suffered at the hands of the Philippines back in November.
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