With Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) accepting the invitation from International Basketball Federation to replace New Zealand in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, they will be sitting down with PBA to lay out their plans in forming and training a Gilas Pilipinas Team.

/ 1 March 2021

FIBA announced on Friday that the Tall Blacks pulled out from the competition and gave the slot to the Philippines for the Serbia Qualifier.

With Philippines ranking sixth in Asia, it became the next qualified for the Asia-Oceania region.

SBP President Al Panlilio welcomed the development and saying that “we’re very happy that Gilas Pilipinas will be given a chance to compete for a spot in the Olympics.”

Philippines will be needing to field the strongest team possible with the qualifiers offering a stiffer match-up being bracketed with Serbia and the Dominican Republic in Group A.

Meanwhile, Italy, Puerto Rico, and Senegal are in Group B.

“We will be coordinating with the PBA to plot our plans moving forward. And we’re hopeful that Ange Kouame’s naturalization will be signed into law by then to give Gilas Pilipinas men that added boost it needs to be more competitive,” said Panlilio.

With the competition penciled on June 29 to July 1, the preparation of Gilas Pilipinas will be short, however, SBP committed to giving their best for their country.

“Whenever we compete in international tournaments, we always aim to send the best team possible to make our Filipino fans proud.”