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    Gilas Pilipinas revives Olympic bid as New Zealand pulls out of OQT

    Feb 26, 2021
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    GILAS Pilipinas gets a new lease on life on its Olympic hopes as it was awarded a berth for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

    Fiba awarded the berth to the Philippines after the sudden pullout of New Zealand from the OQT set in Belgrade, Serbia.

    Basketball New Zealand announced its pullout on Friday, citing "the spike in the number of high performance events and the costs of sending teams abroad" as it turns its attention to the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup.

    It's a surprise nod for the Philippines, which got left out of the initial OQT list after its 32nd place finish in the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.

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    Now, Gilas will have to reboot its trainings for the OQT, where it will replace the Tall Blacks in Group A in Belgrade.

    There, the Philippines will have a tall task at hand in facing Serbia and Dominican Republic, needing to win one to progress to the semifinals where only one nation will earn a berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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      The Belgrade OQT will be held from June 29 to July 4 in Serbia.

      The winner of the Belgrade OQT will be placed in Group B together with Australia, Nigeria, and the winner of the Split OQT come the Tokyo Games.
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      For more Gilas updates, click here.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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