The Philippines battles host Greece to begin their campaign in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Athens on Saturday.
In Manila, game time is set at 1:30 a.m., Sunday.
The Filipinos, ranked 30th by FIBA, are expected to rely on each other’s familiarity and twin towers AJ Edu and Kai Sotto to produce a respectable finish at Heraklion Indoor Sports Arena.
Sotto, who joined the team after spending weeks in the US to work on his game, were teammates with Gerry Abadiano and Shaun Chiu in the U18 Asian tournament. Those three played with Terrence Fortea and Carl Tamayo at the U17 World Cup.
Australia-born James Spencer is the only wearing the national colors for the first time.
Rhayyan Amsali, Sean Ildefonso, Miguel Oczon, Dalph Panopio and Xryrus Torres round out the rest of the roster coached by Sandy Arespacochaga.
While Edu and Sotto will be responsible for manning the paint, Fortea, Oczon, Spencer and Torres are the designated gunners.
Besides the Philippines and No. 15-ranked Greece, the rest of Group C include No. 9 Argentina and No. 19 Russia.
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