MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas will have an early playdate with FIBA Asia nemesis Iran at the Asian Games (XVII Asiad) in Incheon, South Korea in September.
The Philippine national basketball team was drawn together with Hamed Haddadi's Iran squad in the preliminary round of the men's basketball competition, according to the Asiad's official Twitter account.
The draw result showed that Gilas is paired with Iran in Group E.
Iran beat the Filipino squad in the semifinals of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and again in the gold medal round of the Asia joust.
During the finals, Gilas played minus the injured Marcus Douthit and settled for second place.
This time around, Gilas will be fielding a lineup that is beefed with naturalized citizen, NBA player Andray Blatche.
Other members of the national team bound for the Asiad are Gilas veterans Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, Gary David, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Marc Pingris, Ranidel de Ocampo, Japeth Aguilar and June Mar Fajardo, and recent additions Paul Lee and Jared Dillinger.
Hong Kong, Kuwait, Mongolia, and Maldives were clustered in Group A, while Palestine, India, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan are in in Group B.
China and Chinese Taipei will collide in in Group C, while Jordan and Korea were paired in Group D. In Group F, Japan will slug it out with Qatar.