A young Philippines men's national side will try to prove it deserves to be on Asian basketball's biggest stage when Gilas Pilipinas takes on Thailand in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers on Friday.
Tipoff is at 9 p.m., Manila time.
Philippines head coach Jong Uichico will handle a roster of recent college graduates and current varsity players at Khalifa Sport City in the capital city of Manama, Bahrain, a decision national basketball officials hoped would help quicken the development of the Gilas program's more junior players.
Gilas opened the qualifiers with a victory over Indonesia in February, before the competition was suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Bahrain, the Filipinos face a Thai squad made up of professional players.
The two countries last met in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games final, which Gilas won handily.
Can Kobe Paras and a group of continental upstarts continue the Philippines' dominance over its regional rivals? Or will Thailand take the fight to Gilas?