INCHEON, South Korea — Gilas Pilipinas will face Qatar on Friday before facing host Korea on Saturday to start off its quarterfinal campaign in the Asian Games.
The Philippines got Qatar for its first quarterfinal assignment at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Manila time) at the Hwaseong Sports Complex after the Middle East nation stunned Japan, 72-71, to top Group F on Thursday.
Gilas landed in Group H after losing a heartbreaker to Iran, 63-68, on Thursday.
Gilas' toughest assignment in Group H in the round-robin quarterfinals should come on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Samsan World Gymnasium against Korea, the same team it beat in the semifinals of the Fiba-Asia Championship last year in Manila to punch ticket to the World Cup.
This time though, the Philippines will take on Korea on its home soil, bringing back memories of the Asian Games stunner in 2002 when Lee Sang Min hit a buzzer-beating triple in the semifinals that broke the hearts of a side coached by Jong Uichico, now one of Chot Reyes' assistants at Gilas.
Gilas will then cap off the quarterfinals against Kazakhtan on Sunday, 3:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m.) Manila time, also at the Hwaseong Sports Complex.
The top two teams in Group H will advance to the crossover semifinals against theic counterparts in Group G, where Iran and China are expected to lord it over Mongolia and Japan.
Iran and China collide in the quarterfinals on Sunday, also at the Samsan World Gymnasium.