Even the SMC-Team Pilipinas is uncertain if they can compete with the upcoming 15th Asian Games here in Qatar, National coach Chot Reyes and his charges arrived here yesterday morning to join the Al-Em Emadi International Basketball Tournament here in Doha, Qatar along with the national teams of Angola, Latvia and host Qatar.
Team Pilipinas first game will be on Wednesday at 7:30 pm against the Qatari locals. I will surely watch this game as this will be a huge one and could be the highlight of this tournament. I’m sure, the battle will be both on-and-off the court, as the home crowds of Qatari will steadily support their home team while even few but animated Filipinos will surely hold and stand strong to cheer with Team Pilipinas. And in the court, Qatar Team is also strong as they placed 3rd in the last FIBA-Asia championships which were also held here in Qatar.
The next games of Team Pilipinas will be on Thursday at 5:45 pm against mighty Latvia. And the last game to end the elimination round will be on Friday against the African champion Angola.
The top team in the eliminations will meet the 4th-placer while the 2nd takes on the 3rd in the semifinals on Saturday. The two winners then play in the championship match on Sunday.
These are all great matches for sure as all the teams are the best in their region. Qatar is one the best team here in Asia specifically here in West Asia; while Angola is the African basketball champion, and Latvia is one of the top team in Europe.
I’m not so sure about the SMC-Pilipinas lineup, but I heard frontlines includes Kerby Raymundo, Rafi Reavis, slam dunk king Nino Canaleta, Thoss, Yancy de Ocampo, and potential No. 1 overall draft pick Arwind Santos. In the wings are James Yap and my favorites Nic Belasco, Don Hontiveros, and Danny Seigle. Backcourts are Miller, Helterbrand, Dennis Miranda and PBA rookie hopefuls LA Tenorio.
Uichico joins Chot Reyes in the coaching side, how I wish Ron Jacobs still around to give more brainpower.
Regardless of the outcome, I’m sure both the Qatar and Philippine Team will benefit a lot from this tune-up game as they are both preparing for the upcoming Asian Games and also Qatar is getting ready for the World Basketball Championships in Japan in the last week of August.
Let’s cheer for the Team-Pilipinas.