JAKARTA — The Philippines could be in line for a battle against Korea in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Asian Games men’s basketball tournament.
Gilas’ 96-59 win Group D opening win over Kazakhstan on Thursday at the GBK Basketball Hall put the Philippines one step closer to the quarterfinals.
Under the tournament format, the second-placer in Group D will play the top-seed in Group A, which has Korea, Thailand, and host Indonesia.
Korea on Tuesday beat Indonesia, 104-65, on opening day of the men’s basketball tournament, with the reigning 2014 gold medalist going for a sweep of Group A against Thailand on Monday at the GBK Basketball Hall.
The Philippines has a history with Korea in the Asian Games, Lee Sang Min hitting a buzzer-beating three in the semifinals in 2002. The original Gilas squad bowed to Korea in the quarterfinals in 2010 in Guangzhou and again in 2014 in Incheon.
The ‘GIlastopainters’ could avoid that quarterfinal match against Korea with a win in group play over China on Tuesday.
The odds are stacked against the Philippines in that showdown with China boasting two NBA players in Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuhang.
The Philippines though has reinforcement with Jordan Clarkson, who joined the squad on Tuesday.