MVP says no time to celebrate yet as powerhouse Australia looms next for Gilas
Manny V. Pangilinan being interviewed shortly after Gilas' 90-83 win over Chinese Taipei on Monday night. Jerome Ascano

MANNY V. Pangilinan is satisfied with Gilas Pilipinas emerging victorious in its first two games in the FIBA World Cup qualifier.

Stiil, there's not enough reason to celebrate this early.

Although the national team won't be playing until February yet, up next for the Filipinos is powerhouse Australia, which is also unbeaten in Group B just like Gilas, after downing Japan in its opening game on Friday.

And apart from being a talent-laden squad, the Filipinos will have to play the Boomers in their homecourt in Sydney.

"That's the team to beat," said Pangilinan moments after Gilas won its second straight win in four days by beating Chinese Taipei, 90-83, before a crowd of 11,444 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Monday night.

"Japan just lost to Australia (by a wide margin). And we beat Japan by just six (77-71)."

But while the Aussies are a concern, Pangilinan remains in high spirit following Gilas' win over the Taiwanese, who led by as many as 14 points early in the first quarter.

"Yes, given the circumstances under the team was formed," said the chairman emeritus of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) when asked by if he was satisified with the win against the visiting Chinese-Taipei squad. 

"I'm very happy for the team. Very proud of them," Pangilinan added. "I'm sure FIBA noticed that we've done well despite (the short preparation that we had)."


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