THE Philippine team looks to build on a winning start in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup as Chooks-to-Go bannered squad takes on Palestine’s Sareyyet Ramallah on Saturday afternoon at the Chenzou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium in China.
The Filipino cagers had a rousing debut to start their campaign in Group A after they outlasted a gritty BC Astana, 73-65, behind Kiefer Ravena and Isaiah Austin.
The former Ateneo star fired in 22 points to lead all scorers in the game while the 7-foot-1 reinforcement in Austin was as good as advertised, finishing with 17 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks as he manned the paint for Chooks.
They’d be taking on a Sareyyet Ramallah side, which is looking to vent its ire on some other team after dropping a 102-100 loss in overtime to Thai team Mono Vampire on Friday.
Like the Philippine squad, the West Asian club was also a late addition to the tournament and also a relative first timer in the competition.
Imports Todd O’Brien and Tony Weeden will be reinforcing the club to backstop American-Palestinian forward Jamal Abu Shamala, who topscored for their squad in the loss with 22 markers.
Only one team from the group will be eliminated, with the top four teams qualifying to the quarterfinals after a four-game round robin.
Also looking to make an impression for Chooks is former UP gunner Jett Manuel who finished with 10 points in his international debut, as Raymar Jose and Jeron Teng look to make up for slow starts in this game against Sareyyet Ramallah.
Gametime is at 4:45 p.m.