The FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers starts off with a magnificent matchup as the Gilas Pilipinas will face their rivalry, The South Korean men’s basketball team for the first time. Since the draw of the Qualifiers, it has been a match that has been awaited by the fans. The tipoff will start at 6:00 PM on June 16 at the Angeles City Foundation Gym in Pampanga.
The Philippine squad sent their young players to play against South Korea.
“I think coach did a good job picking this young group,” Ra Gun-ah shared. “Now we’re going to see how good the future of Korean basketball is and the direction is heading towards.”
“I’m looking forward to being the veteran in this game between two young up and coming teams. Looking forward to be a part of it.” the veteran added.
Lee HyunJung is one of the young players of the Korean team and played recently in the NCAA at Davidson.
“Our team is getting younger and we have great leaders. I just have to play basketball as usual, to play my style. I just have to play hard and have fun,” Lee said.
The Philippines are also sending youngsters against the Korean team, namely, Kai Sotto, Ange Kuome and Carl Tamayo.
“It’s been really exciting just to imagine that I can share the court with [Ange],” Sotto shared his thoughts of his upcoming teammates. “Other than Ange there are a lot of really good tall players like Carl Tamayo and AJ Edu who is not yet here. Very excited to play with them again. It’s just a lot of good young talent in this team.”
They are not the only players to have a debut tonight against Korea. Justine Baltazar, Javi Gomez de Liano, William Navarro, Mike Nieto, Dwight Ramos, Jaydee Tungcab and the team captain, Isaac Go, will be having their debut as well.
After being a star of the youth program for a couple of years, Sotto will have his first participation in the Gilas Men’s team.
RJ Abarrientos, Carl Tamayo and SJ Belangel will play for the seniors squad for the first time tonight as they join Sotto and Kouame.