WATCH: Philippines to Hong Kong | 1st day Gilas Pilipinas practice!

Gilas Pilipinas gets rolling its FIBA Asia Cup qualification campaign on the road Thursday as it battles Hong Kong at the Tsue Wan Sports Centre.

Justin Brownlee will be at the forefront of the national team’s campaign that won’t have the benefit of injured big men June Mar Fajardo and AJ Edu.

But youth will be served on the unit of coach Tim Cone as young guns Kai Sotto, Carl Tamayo, Dwight Ramos, and UAAP MVP Kevin Quiambao are all on board for the opening window of next year’s FIBA Asia Cup in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

One-time Gilas team skipper Japeth Aguilar takes the place of the 6-foot-10 Fajardo as a last-minute replacement.

Fajardo, the seven-time MVP of San Miguel, hurt his left calf during the Commissioner’s Cup finals between the Beermen and Magnolia Hotshots.

Despite not having Fajardo and Edu around, Cone still likes the frontcourt combination of Sotto and Tamayo teaming up with the 37-year-old Aguilar in the middle “Japeth being able to back up Kai is really going to be big for us,” said Cone just before Gilas left for Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Hong Kong is expected to bank on its home crowd for the 8 p.m. match along with the veteran presence of one player so familiar to Cone and his Barangay Ginebra players currently in the Gilas roster, namely Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo, and Aguilar.

Via
AHOS gaming
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