Fans can watch the Philippines vs. France basketball game live online and see if Gilas Pilipinas can kick off the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament with a monumental upset.
The Philippines basketball team will be looking to reach the Olympics for the first time since 1972, and their first task will be facing off against one of the best European teams and one of the top five in the world, a squad filled with NBA talent. The French team is led by Boris Diaw and Tony Parker, and will be facing off against a Gilas Pilipinas team led by naturalized import Andray Blatche.
The game will tip off on Tuesday at 9 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, and will be available to watch live online (a link to the streaming video can be found below).
The FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament is actually split into three smaller tournaments, one in Italy, another in Serbia, and a third in the Philippines. Gilas Pilipinas drew powerhouse France in its group, but also a New Zealand squad that could be beatable.
After Turkey blew out the Gilas Pilipinas team in warm-up games before the FIBA tournament, Turkish coach Ergin Ataman noted that the Philippines has a chance to split their games in group play.
“Philippines beating France is impossible for me. Against France, I don’t give any chance to the Philippines,” he said via PhilStar).
“Maybe against New Zealand, they will fight for a good result,” Ataman added.
The other group in the Philippines FIBA tournament has Turkey, Senegal, and Canada. A full list of the tournament schedule can be found at Bleacher Report.
Fans who watch the Philippines vs. France basketball game live online could see a motivated Gilas Pilipinas team, playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in meaningful play after a long stretch of warm-up matches in Europe.
Yibada noted that the home crowd could give the Philippines a boost, but it likely won’t be enough to overcome the superior French team and its NBA talent.
“France enters the game as the overwhelming favorite, but the Philippine will not fold without giving a fight. If they can just emulate their form during the second half of their game against Italy, the Philippines could have a chance to hang around and pressure the Frenchmen down the stretch. With the crowd on their side, who knows what could happen in the end.”
“Then again, the Philippines have to play the ‘perfect game’ to give themselves a chance to pull off an upset. France is simply superior in almost every category, and that’s why I have them winning by single digit.”
Gilas Pilipinas did see some success in the lead-up to the FIBA tournament, including a big win over China during a trip to Europe. Tab Baldwin, the Philippines’ head coach, noted that the team did a good job coming together during the trip, even with some losses along the way.
“It’s good to get out of this trip with a win,” Baldwin said via Sports 5. “We saw some positive changes during the second half of the game against Italy and the team built on it.”
Projected Starting Lineup
C -Andray Blatche, PF – Ranidel De Ocampo, SF – Gabe Norwood, SG -Jeff Chan, PG – Jason Castro
C – Joffrey Lauvergne, PF – Boris Diaw, SF – Mikael Pietrus, SG – Thomas Heurtel, PG – Tony Parker
[Image via Instagram]