Today is G-Day (or Game Day), when we embark on another (and last) journey to snare the last ticket to Rio.
But it’s going to be no walk in the park, as we’re going up against one of the best in the world, FIBA’s 5th-ranked team France. Les Bleus (as they are called) boast of several NBA players, including superstar Tony Parker and veteran Boris Diaw. The French are, in fact, the prohibitive favorites to win this Olympic Qualifying Tournament leg.
That being said, here are three things I expect we’ll see tonight:
Bombs Away. Gilas has relied on their three point marksmanship heavily in the last 2 years and tonight won’t be any different. Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terence Romeo, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jeff Chan need to be on point, for Gilas to have a chance of sticking around. So expect them (plus Bobby Ray Parks and Troy Rosario) to be spotting up from outside. Whether they make those threes or not is a different matter.
Get Your Guards Up. The guard battles will be amazing. While Tony Parker and Nando de Colo will most certainly win, Terence Romeo will never back down and if aggressive Jayson Castro shows up, Gilas might actually have a chance to dictate the flow and slow down the guard-reliant French offense.
Big Man Keys. Boris Diaw (because of the absence of Nicolas Batum) and Andray Blatche will be the keys to their team’s success. If Gilas can stop Diaw from facilitating, they can add to Parker’s point guard duties and wear him down. If the French shuts down Blatche, it’s almost certainly good bye for Gilas.
Final score prediction: France 85, Gilas 75.
France is just too big and too skilled. If we can surprise them with our speed and our threepoint shooting is there, I think we can take them out. But I’m guessing France has properly scouted us and if our shooting is true to our latest form, there’s almost no chance for us to win.
For more sports content, go to http://sportsfandom.blogspot.com.
Follow me at