RATHER than think about the last-minute absence of powerhouse Lebanon in the coming Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said the team will just pre-occupy itself preparing for the qualifier of the next year’s World Basketball Championship.
“Not too worried about Lebanon’s suspension coz we’re too focused on ourselves 1st,” said Reyes in his Twitter account @coachot shortly after steering the national team to a 73-70 win over Hawkes Bay Hawks in New Zealand.
Lebanon was banned by Fiba (International Basketball Federation) on Friday due to infighting between clubs and its local cage federation, denying the country the chance to see action in the Manila staging of the August 1-11 tournament.
Iraq is set to take the spot left by Lebanon, according to The Daily Star, a Lebanese-based newspaper.
Reyes admitted he has exactly no idea what kind of team Iraq is.
“Iraq is a tall, tough team we know very little of," said the Gilas mentor. “I wish I could say that’s one less problem, but the reality is Iraq is a tall tough team.”
Lebanon is bracketed together with Japan, Qatar, and Hong Kong in Group B of the Fiba-Asia.