GILAS Pilipinas faces Kazakhstan in the third of a scheduled four-game bill slated on Friday during the quarterfinal playoffs of the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The national team plays the Kazakhs at 8:30 p.m. following the tussle between defending champion China and Chinese-Taipei at 5:45 p.m.
“Now we’re going to talk and prepare about Kazakhstan. We know how dangerous Kazakhstan’s team is. They’re tall, they’re great shooters, and they’ve got a great point guard,” said Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes in describing his team’s quarterfinal opponent.
Two-time champion and favorite Iran opens hostilities in the crossover playoffs at 3 p.m. against Jordan in a rematch of their 2011 quarterfinal showdown that saw the Jordanians pull off a king-sized upset of Hamed Haddadi and the Iranians.
But Iran will be going to the game as the only unbeaten team in the tournament after winning all six of its games in the preliminaries.
Korea and Qatar brings up the rear in the fourth sudden-death game set at 10:30 p.m.
Earlier matches feature Bahrain and Hong Kong at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Japan-India encounter in battles for 9th to 12th places.
The qualifier to the World Basketball Championship in Spain next year takes a break Thursday.
Gilas Pilipinas ended up meeting Kazakhstan after it finished on top of Group E by virtue of a higher quotient over Chinese-Taipei and Qatar. All three teams wound up their preliminary campaigns with similar 3-1 records.
Chinese-Taipei clinched the No. 2 slot followed by Qatar (#3) and Jordan (#4)
Iran emerged as the top team in Group F, then Korea (#2 ), China (#3), and Kazakhstan (#4).