MANILA, Philippines – SMART Gilas Pilipinas will go with the line-up that triumphed against Japan when they try to defend their home court against Chinese-Taipei in their second game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers on Monday.
This, according to team manager Butch Antonio.
This means that Jayson Castro, the hero of the Philippines' 77-71 win over Japan in Tokyo last Friday, will once again be tipped to lead the national team.
Joining him are Andray Blatche, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, Calvin Abueva, Allein Maliksi, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Kevin Alas, and PBA rookie Kiefer Ravena.
Once more cut from the 12-man line-up are Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Raymond Almazan.
"We're upbeat," Antonio said. "Players and coaches know that we still have things to work on. Players accept the fact that this is a long, hard journey."
"It will not be easy," he added.
The Philippines currently share the Group B lead with Australia, which trounced Chinese-Taipei, 104-66, in their first game of the qualifiers.
Gilas plays Chinese-Taipei on Monday evening at the Araneta Coliseum.
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