Gilas Pilipinas reveals final 12-man roster for 2023 FIBA World Cup | Lineup breakdown

Gilas Pilipinas final line up fiba world cup 2023

Just a couple of days before the Philippines Men’s National Team or Gilas Pilipinas kicks it off in the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2023 group play, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) revealed the team’s final 12-man roster.

Gilas Pilipinas’ final 12-man lineup revealed

The Philippines will be represented by 12 of the most talented and skilled Filipino basketball players. Here’s the complete lineup:

  • Jordan Clarkson (G)
  • Kai Sotto (C)
  • Dwight Ramos (G/F)
  • AJ Edu (F/C)
  • June Mar Fajardo (C)
  • Japeth Aguilar (F/C)
  • CJ Perez (G)
  • Jamie Malonzo (F)
  • RR Pogoy (G/F)
  • Kiefer Ravena (G)
  • Scottie Thompson (G)

As expected, Gilas Pilipinas leaned heavily on big men. As such, the towering Kai Sotto, AJ Edu, June Mar Fajardo, and Japeth Aguilar were selected for the final roster. Obviously, Jordan Clarkson would be an automatic lock to the final lineup. Meanwhile, the young pillars of Gilas Pilipinas such as Dwight Ramos and Kiefer Ravena also made the cut. Unfortunately, players like Chris Newsome, Thirdy Ravena, Calvin Oftana, and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. did not make the team. Can Gilas Pilipinas’ final roster fair well against other teams on the international stage? Let’s break down how good (or bad) this lineup is.

Height and Size

So far, this new Gilas Pilipinas is probably the tallest lineup in Philippine history. With an average player height of 6 feet and 5 inches, it sure sounds like this team can manage their own against taller opponents. In addition to that, there is no player in the team listed below 6’0”.

As cliche as it may sound, height can never be taught. The towers of Gilas Pilipinas are a great opportunity for the team to hold their ground against Italy, the Dominican Republic, and Angola.

Talent and Skill

Being selected in the final lineup basically means you are one of the best in the country. However, as head coach Chot Reyes said, it’s about who’s “fit” to the team. Talented players like Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Calvin Oftana are both great two-way players, but Reyes and SBP chose to have Kiefer Ravena’s playmaking ability. Everyone on this team is extremely talented, but it’s pretty self-explanatory to select the player who better fits the Gilas Pilipinas system.

Experience

PBA veterans June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar are heading into their third consecutive FIBA World Cup stint. They’ve had great outings in the past and this experience is valuable for their upcoming games. On the other hand, other members of the team aren’t also new to the international stage. This squad has five guys who play overseas (i.e. Sotto, Ramos, Edu, Abando, Ravena) while they also managed to add the NBA 2021 6th man of the Year, Jordan Clarkson, as a naturalized player.

Coaching

Chot Reyes is back for the second time and he will be assisted by Tim Cone, Jong Uichico, and his son Josh. However, Filipinos have long been questioning coach Chot’s decision-making, especially his option to constantly pick Kiefer Ravena. Although this is ultimately based on “who’s the better fit”, fans can’t stop wondering about this somewhat controversial move. Add that to his son, Josh Reyes, joining the coaching staff, it’s not unusual for pundits to question his decisions.

Chemistry

Despite the fact that most of these guys have played with each other for quite some time, we can’t take away issues regarding the team’s chemistry.

It only took Gilas Pilipinas about a few weeks to mesh with each other. Moreover, Kai Sotto and Jordan Clarkson just joined the team last week. As morbid as it may sound, Gilas doesn’t seem to be as prepared as Italy’s Azzure.

Gilas Pilipinas matchups in the FIBA World Cup 2023 Group Stage

August 25: Gilas Pilipinas vs Dominican Republic

Before facing their biggest opponent in the Group stage, Gilas Pilipinas must first win an exciting matchup against the Dominican Republic (ranked No.23). A team led by NBA superstar Karl-Anthony Towns, the Dominicana isn’t going to be an easy game for the Philippines.

According to Gilas head coach Chot Reyes, the National team is focused on their first outing in the FIBA World Cup“Italy is Italy. We all know the quality of that team. Fortunately, they are our third game. So right now, our concern is the Dominican Republic. A lot of our efforts are really poured into preparing for the Dominican Republic and Angola,” said Reyes.

Gilas has less than two weeks to prepare before the bout against Dominican Republic which will take place on August 25. Furthermore, the game will be played at the Philippine Arena (Bocaue, Bulacan) which can seat about 55,000 people.

August 27: Gilas Pilipinas vs Angola

It’s already hard enough for the Philippines to take on the higher-ranked Dominican Republic, but they should be unfazed. Their second matchup is a nation that is ranked 41 in the world, Angola. Take note, the Philippines is just put a bit higher at 40. Another NBA big man is leading Angola, Atlanta Hawks center Bruno Fernando, and could be a problem for the Filipino bigs.

If Gilas is aiming to reach the Olympics, they must win their first two matchups (i.e. Dominican and Angola) because their final opponent will probably be the hardest. Gilas Pilipinas will take on the Angolans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on August 27.

August 29: Gilas Pilipinas vs Italy

Gilas Pilipinas will conclude their FIBA World Cup Group stage event with a toe-to-toe battle with one of the best European teams – Italy. Right now, the Italians are ranked 10th worldwide, just behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Greece. Despite Paolo Banchero’s decision to play for the USA instead of Italy, this team is still a formidable foe, especially for the Filipinos.

Italy’s National team, Azzurri, is spearheaded by players who have NBA-caliber talents like Utah Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio and former NBA players Luigi Datome, and Nicolo Melli. This game will be played in Araneta Coliseum on August 29.

Gilas Pilipinas FIBA World Cup 2023 Group Stage tickets

Tickets are now available for Gilas Pilipinas’ group play games. To book tickets, follow these links:

Ticketnet

SM Tickets


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