They may not have the size and heft of the previous national teams but the latest version of Gilas Pilipinas would not lack in heart and fighting spirit as it makes its debut in the FIBA Asia Qualifiers versus Indonesia at the Mahaka Arena in Jakarta Sunday night.
“It’s a challenge for each and everyone of us. We’re a new team, everybody wants to prove something so we’re going to play as hard as we can and not let up on anything,” said Gilas skipper Kiefer Ravena.
At 26, Ravena is the most experienced player in the Gilas quintet of coach Mark Dickel.
They won’t have the likes of an Andray Blatche, a June Mar Fajardo and a Jayson Castro. Nonetheless, Gilas is expected to get to a winning start, with Dickel unleashing a bunch of youngsters all determined to show what they’ve got.
They hit the floor at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. in Manila) against the home team playing a second game in three nights after dropping a 76-109 loss to South Korea Friday.