MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines faces a must-win situation as it battles Kazakhstan at the Saryarka Velodrome in Astana in their final game of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers on Sunday, February 24.
Running 4th in Group F at 6-5 – a record which makes it virtually improbable for Gilas to barge into the top 3 – the Philippines targets to become the best 4th placer in both Groups E and F to clinch the last World Cup berth.
In order to make that happen, the Philippines cannot afford to lose to Kazakhstan, or else, it will bid farewell to its World Cup aspirations.
But aside from pulling off a win, Gilas must hope that Lebanon and Jordan lose their final qualifying games against Korea and New Zealand, respectively. (READ: China loss to Jordan complicates Gilas' FIBA World Cup chances)
Expected to lead the Philippines are Andray Blatche, who flirted with a triple-double in a 38-point win over Qatar on Friday, and the returning Roger Pogoy. (READ: Scottie out, Pogoy in for Gilas final lineup vs Kazakhstan)
Kazakhstan, although already out of World Cup contention with a 4-7 record in Group F, only looks to defend its homecourt and play spoiler in the World Cup race.
Game time is at 8:30 pm in Astana, which is 10:30 pm here.
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FIBA WCQ: PH vs KAZ - Curated tweets by RapplerSports