Al Panlilio hopes Gilas Pilipinas gets at least 2 wins in FIBA World Cup

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio is hopeful that Gilas Pilipinas can qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France, by winning at least two games in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Panlilio is optimistic about the Philippine national basketball team’s chances in the upcoming tournament, which begins on August 25 and will feature the addition of Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson.

“I’m hoping we can win two games and if can do that, we go to the next round and potentially really play for the spot for the Olympics,” said Panlilio during Tuesday’s PSA Forum.

Aside from the opportunity to play in front of a huge crowd at the Philippine Arena on August 25 when they take on the Dominican Republic in their opening game, they may also be able to send the country back to the Olympics for the first time since 1972.

“I told it to the team the other night I was there. The prize is also a spot in the Olympics which again we have not been there since 1972 from a basketball point of view,” he added.

According to Panlilio, everyone involved knows what they’re shooting for.

“I think the team knows. And that’s what they also want to happen. If we can achieve that, that will be great for the country and basketball.”

The Philippines, who went winless in the 2019 edition of the quadrennial meet, will play Angola (on August 27) and world no. 10 Italy (on August 29) in the group stage. The Smart Araneta Coliseum will serve as the venue for both matches.

It won’t be easy for Gilas to win two games against such quality opposition, but doing so would be crucial if they want to be the best performing Asian team and earn an automatic berth in next year’s summer Olympics in France.

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