In part two of our analysis on the chances of Gilas to advance to the Rio Olympics via the Olympic Qualifiers, we’ll take into consideration some of their notable opponents.
BEST CASE SCENARIO TEAM VS OPPONENTS
C – JunMar Fajardo
PF – Slim Andray Blatche/Ranidel de Ocampo/Marc Pingris
SF – Gabe Norwood/Alvin Abueva/Jeth Troy Rosario
SG – Jordan Clarkson/Paul Lee/ Jeff Chan
PG – Jayson Castro/Terence Romeo
This team can do a lot of damage and, depending on the other teams in their group, may have a slight chance of getting a ticket to Rio.
Teams they can handle: Iran, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Italy
I think Gilas will have more than enough firepower to once again upend its Asian neighbors, as well as Puerto Rico. Against Mexico and New Zealand, Gilas will have to make sure that their guards (Castro, Clarkson and Romeo) and wingmen are in peak form, as these are the positions where we’d have a clear advantage. Against Italy, it’s the bigs who will make a difference, as Blatche, Fajardo, de Ocampo and Pingris can take advantage of the relative passiveness of the Italian big men.
Teams they’ll struggle against: France, Serbia, Greece, Canada, Czech Republic
Not surprisingly, these are the teams with legitimate NBA or Euroleague talent. The Czech Republic may be the easiest of these teams to beat, but 7footer Jan Vesely and 6-7 point guard Tomas Satoransky will definitely make sure we sweat blood trying to get past them. Greece and Serbia are both very strong in all positions and are two of the most skilled teams in the world. Canada and France are choc-full of NBA talent and we’re not talking about end-of-the-bench NBA players here. We’re talking about legitimate NBA stars like Tony Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Rudy Gobert, and Nicolas Batum as well as rotation players like Boris Diaw, Nando de Colo, Cory Joseph, Anthony Bennett, Evan Fournier, Andrew Nicholson, Nik Stauskas, Kelly Olynyk and Robert Sacre. Getting past those two teams will be the most difficult task of all. (The FIBA qualifiers will be on July 5-11, right when the NBA is on its yearly break, so these NBA players will be available)
HOW GILAS WINS
Well first, we’d need the luck of the draw. With 15 teams being divided into 3 groups, we’re looking at a 5-team group with the champion getting the Rio ticket. Which means we need to get into a group with 3 winnable games, and 1 hard game that isn’t France or Canada. So if Gilas was grouped with Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Italy and Greece, we might actually have a realistic chance of earning a Rio ticket.
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