After winning the 34th William Jones Cup last month, the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team begins the next step of its journey by flying to Japan Wednesday for the FIBA Asia Cup.
“This tournament will be a tough one for the boys, but they are all in high spirits after capturing the Jones Cup,” said SMART-Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
Ginebra San Miguel guard LA Tenorio, who won Most Valuable Player honors in the Jones Cup, described the FIBA Asia Cup as an “uphill climb” for SMART-Gilas.
“We will try our very best and really play hard,” said Tenorio, who said the team realizes the high expectations from fans after its Jones Cup win.
The Philippine team begins its campaign on Friday against a young, tough Chinese training team, before taking on Lebanon on Satuday. SMART-Gilas then battles minnows Uzbekistan on Sunday and Macau on Monday to wrap up its preliminary round campaign.
All matches will be broadcast over AKTV. (See full schedule)
The FIBA Asia Cup campaign is part of the Philippine team’s preparation for next year’s FIBA Asia Championship, where three spots to the 2014 FIBA World Cup is at stake.
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