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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Gilas PH vows not to take tall India team for granted

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Gilas Pilipinas won’t take a tall, 12-man national team from India for granted when they clash Friday in the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier at the Araneta Coliseum.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes noted that Team India has players, who have been together for almost 10 years, which is the reason Filipinos expect an interesting match with them when they clash at 6 p.m. today.

“No. 1 for India is their size. Over the years, we have seen India develop into a legitimate basketball competitor,” said Reyes after Thursday’s practice.

India, which arrived on Monday afternoon, is a tall squad coached by Veselin Matić
They have with them developmental players in NBA Academy’s Pranav Prince and Princepal Singh, who played with young Filipino star Kai

Sotto in the NBA G League.

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Veterans like 6’10” Amritpal Singh, 6’4” guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and 6’2” point guard Muin Bek Hafeez are backing up these young talents.

They also have pros like 6’8” Aravind Annadurai, who plays for Income Tax India, along with 6’6” Manoj Belur Manjunatha of Karnataka, 6’11” Palpreet Singh Brar of Indian Railways, 6’3” Rajeev Kumar of SSCB, 6’2” Arvind Kumar Muthu Krishnan of Tanil Nadu and 6’8” Prashant Singh Rawat of Uttarakhand.

“Their skills have tremendously improved,” added Reyes.

Gilas will have two rookies in Kib Montalbo and Tzaddy Rangel coming in as late additions.

The 26-year-old Montalbo will test his skills as a 6-foot combo guard, who plays for TNT.

Rangel, 25, is a 6’7” big man taken in by NLEX in the 2021 PBA Gilas draft.

They will join other Gilas players Angelo Kouame of Ateneo, San-En’s Thirdy Ravena, Toyama’s Dwight Ramos, free agent Juan Gomez de Liano, Lebron Lopez of Overtime Elite; and Gilas draftees William Navarro of Northport and Jaydee Tungcab of TNT.

PBA veterans Roger Pogoy, Kelly Williams, Gab Banal and Robert Bolick of NorthPort are also with the team.

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