BATANG Gilas Pilipinas hopes to overcome Japan’s outside shooting in their quarterfinal round match up in the 2015 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship in Jakarta on Thursday.
The Filipinos battle the Japanese at 5 p.m. looking to contain one of their opponent’s strengths in their bid to earn a berth in the semifinals.
National youth head coach Mike Oliver called Japan a ‘very dangerous opponent’ despite placing third in Group E with a 3-2 win-loss card.
One of the players to watch out for Japan is is Yudai Nishida, who is leading the tournament in three-point conversions with 17.
Likewise, the Japanese obviously have the advantage in size with an average height of 6-foot-2. The Philippines only has an average height of 5-foot-11.
“Definitely ‘yung height pa din at outside shooting ‘yung advantage nila,” said Oliver, when asked by Spin.ph through SMS about his assessment of the knockout game. “Pero mas lamang tayo sa skills at speed.”
The Philippines is coming off a big win at the close of the preliminary round after stunning erstwhile unbeaten China, 78-72, to forge a three-way tie on top of Group F at 4-1 along with its victim and South Korea.
The upset also came a day after the Filipinos lost to the Sokors.
“We are definitely happy with the way things came out against China. It only shows that we are capable of bouncing back after a tough loss,” said Oliver.
The Batang Gilas coach reiterated the team is not taking things lightly following the China win as the Filipinos’ main goal is to make it to the top three, which meant qualifying for next year’s FIBA Under-17 World Championship.
“That win against China doesn’t mean anything because we haven’t achieved our goal yet and that is to qualify in the FIBA World. Hopefully because of the win, it will make our players hungrier to play against Japan, which is a very dangerous opponent,” said Oliver.