MANILA, Philippines – Smart Gilas II will face its first test this year when the 2012 Jones Cup begins in Taipei.
Gilas II, powered by Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players, will be going up against Jordan this Saturday.
“Good tournament roster with tough teams. This will be a real good test for us,” said Gilas II coach Chot Reyes in PBA.ph.
Jones Cup also features Iran, Lebanon, Japan, Chinese Taipei Team A, Chinese Taipei Team B, a US squad and the Anyang KGC squad from Korea.
The competing teams will play one round-robin. The squad with the best record automatically wins the title.
“We play two games, take a rest and then play six straight games. It’s really a good test for our team,” Reyes said of their playdates.
Smart Gilas II is composed of PBA players Ranidel de Ocampo, Larry Fonacier, Sonny Thoss, LA Tenorio, Mac Baracael, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Rico Villanueva, Gary David, Sol Mercado and JayR Reyes.
Also playing for the Philippine team are naturalized player Marcus Douthit, Filipino-American Matt Rosser and PBA D-League star Garvo Lanete.
The squad flies for Taipei via EVA Air Friday noon.
The Jones Cup comes ahead of the FIBA Asia Cup, which serves as a qualifying event for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship which in turn serves as the regional elimination for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
In Asia Cup, Gilas II is bracketed with China, Lebanon, Uzbekistan and Macau in Group A, while Iran, Chinese Taipei, Qatar, Japan and India are in Group B.