Big man George Isaac Go and Kobe Paras will have big shoes to fill when the young Gilas Pilipinas national men’s basketball team finally meet Thailand tonight in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers begins in Manama.
Go and Paras will be adjusting and stepping into roles that once belonged to more experienced players Roger Pogoy and Thirdy Ravena.
And the leadership that they can provide will help Gilas Pilipinas take on the Thais in their 9 p.m. encounter.
“They have lots intensity. Hopefully, this will give us a win in our home and away game,” said Uichico.
And they are cagers who national coach Jong Uichico will turn to when action in the November window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers begin in Manama.
Go leads the returnees of Gilas which also include Juan Gomez De Liaño, Matt Nieto, and Dwight Ramos. He is expected to dominate the boards.
On the other hand, Paras will play a big role in giving Gilas the needed points, since Ravena won’t be around to do so. And this will be his first stint in the men’s squad.
Gilas is looking for their second straight triumph.
During their February game, Gilas prevailed over Indonesia in Jakarta, 100-70.
At that time, Gomez De Liaño scored 10 points in 11.3 minutes played.
Among the new members of Gilas are Dave Ildefonso, Paras and Kenmark Carino. They are seen to bring more energy to the squad.
Ildefonso was able to see action for the Philippines under-18 squad in the Asian Championship 2018, up to the U19 World Cup 2019.
Gilas is in Group A of the Qualifiers with Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.
They will be up against an experienced Thailand squad that’s led by former Thai-American standout Tyler Lamb.
The Thais will be looking for a win after bowing to Korea, 83-96, last February.