Asian Games: PH may face powerhouse China, Kazakhstan after reported groupings shakeup

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 7) Another tall task awaits the Asiad-bound Philippine men's national basketball team that was organized just this weekend.

National head coach Yeng Guiao told members of the press Monday that they received word from the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee that the Philippines may have been regrouped in the preliminary stage after Palestine backed out of the quadrennial meet.

The Philippines will reportedly be moved to Group D with powerhouse teams China and Kazakhstan. It was originally in Group B with Iran, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates.

Also read: PH to send men's basketball team to 2018 Asian Games

"So we have to beat at least one of them in order to get to the next round. That's our objective now. How do you beat China and how do you beat Kazakhstan?" said Guiao.

Only two teams will advance to the next round of the tourney.

"Our chances will be best with Kazakhstan, but Kazakhstan is a strong, tall team. They're athletic, they're like the Australians. They're big, they're quick, they're shooters. At alam naman ng mga tao kung gaano kalakas ang China," Guiao said.


Six Rain or Shine players make up the core of the national squad including James Yap, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Maverick Ahanmisi and Beau Belga.

Joining them are Magnolia's Paul Lee, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, San Miguel's Christian Standhardinger, Blackwater's Poy Erram, NLEX's Asi Taulava, TNT KaTropa's Don Trollano, and Gilas cadets Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras.

Guiao will trim it to a 12-man lineup in time for the Asian Games.

The veteran coach said he would like to see the players fight for their slot and will likely release the final lineup by the end of the week. The national team is set to to train every night before they fly to Indonesia on August 14.

CNN Philippines correspondent Pauline Verzosa contributed to this report.