Clarkson Jordan Clarkson of the Philippines looks to make a play against two Italian defenders. FIBA photo

Gilas’ next target: 17th place

August 30, 2023 Robert Andaya 281 views

THE Philippines will be an interested spectator when Serbia takes on South Sudan and Asian rival China battles Puerto Rico at the close of the preliminary phase of the FIBA World Cup 2023.

That’s because the Filipinos’ next two opponents will be determined by the results of these two matches to be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Based on the format being used by FIBA, the two last-placed teams in Group A and Group B after the first round will be bunched together in Group M to determine. placings in the classification phase.

After Tuesday’s Group A games, Angola finished No. 3 with a 1-2 win-loss record behind Dominican Republic (3-0) and Italy (2-1). Host Philippines wound up deadlast in Group A after losing all its three matches to Dominican Republic (81-87), Angola (80-90) and Italy (83-90) in a span of five days.

A BasketNews. com report posted on its official page said the Chot Reyes-mentored Gilas Pilipinas became the first host country since Colombia in 1982 to lose their first three games in the World Cup.

In Group B, the Bogdan Bogdanovic-led Serbia is already assured of a spot in the second round with a 2-0 record.

Puerto Rico and South Sudan are tied with 1-1 slates, while China is last with 0-2 record. Puerto Rico is expected to join Serbia in the second round with a victory over China, leaving South Sudan at No.3 and China at No. 4.

Barring any upsets, the classification round pairings will pit Group A No.4 Philippines against Group B No.3 South Sudan on Aug. 31 and the Philippines against Group B No. 4 China on Sept. 2.

Both matches will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The rest of the other classification round games to determine the 17th to 32nd places are scheduled at the Mall of Asia Arena, Okinawa Arena in Japan and Jakarta Arena in Indonesia.

The ultimate target now is 17th place.