GILAS Pilipinas' big men faces a tricky test against an India squad with four seven-footers when the two teams face off in the quarterfinals of the Fiba Asia Cup on Thursday in Wuhan, China.
The Filipinos completed a sweep of the preliminaries in Group B with their 3-0 record after surviving a tough Jordan side, 71-70, behind a late-game three-pointer by Ranidel de Ocampo.
Coach Chot Reyes said the one-point win against the Jordanians simply exposed Gilas' weakness from the perimeter and the big men's inability to quickly rotate on defense.
"Well, our weakness is being exposed here (in Fiba-Asia Cup) like the lack of three-point shooting without Jimmy (Alapag), Jason (Castro), Larry (Fonacier), and Jeff (Chan)," said Reyes, whose team collides with India at 5:15 p.m. Manila time.
"But the good thing is we found a way to win."
The fiery national coach pointed out that India's four seven-footers will be a cause for concern since naturalized center Marcus Douthit has yet to get the support he's supposed to get from backup big man June Mar Fajardo and athletic forward Japeth Aguilar.
"India will be very tough," said Reyes. "They beat China and almost beat Iran. Our bigs will be overmatched by their four seven-footers who can all play.
"We will have to be at our best to have a chance against them."
Seeded fourth going to the quarterfinals after finishing with an even 2-2 record in Group A, India earlier shocked host China, 65-58.
It also gave Iran a big scare in the first half before losing steam in the end to yield a 62-49 loss against the reigning Asian men's basketball champions.
The winner of the Gilas-India quarterfinal tussle advances to the semifinals to face the winner of the other playoff pair between Iran and Jordan.