DOUBTS and fears that a young Gilas Pilipinas side would falter against a pro-backed Thailand foe proved to be unfounded the last time out.
The all-amateur Filipino dribblers seek a fitting follow-up to their big win last Friday when they tangle with the Thais anew today in the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers at the Khalifa Sports City in Manama, Bahrain.
The match is set at 9 p.m. and will be played without a crowd due to the restrictions of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Behind Ateneo guard Dwight Ramos, University of the Philippines playmaker Juan Gomez de Liaño, and La Salle center Justine Baltazar, Gilas made short work of Thailand 93-61 last Friday to improve to 2-0.
Gilas coach Jong Uichico named his final 12 yesterday, with Ramos, Juan Gomez de Liaño, and Baltazar leading the squad.
Completing the team are Kobe Paras, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Rey Suerte, Dave Ildefonso, and Kemark Carino.
Reigning NCAA MVP Calvin Oftana and Jaydee Tungcab, who were cut from last Friday’s line-up, made it to the final 12 this time. They replaced Will Navarro and Mike Nieto.
Despite passing their initial test with flying colors, big man Isaac Go said they can’t afford to let their guard down.
“Just a better performance. We have shown what we are capable of and there are still things that we can work on,” the 6-foot-8 Go said.
“We must not let our foot off the gas pedal and continue to try and be the best team possible,” he added.