Gilas Pilipinas' fortification in the global b-ball (basketball) scene is its monitor position, for the passed couple of years.
The world had perceived how Jimmy Alapag helped break the Korean revile, how Paul Lee destroyed China's heart in 2014 with his grasp free tosses, how Terrence Romeo humiliated adversaries with his astonishing handles and how Jayson Castro stood tall over the opposition by being named the Best Point Guard in Asia.
This time, two youthful monitors in Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas eye to influence their stamp as the Philippines to go up against Australia, Asia's main group, in their opening round of the second window of the FIBA Asian Qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup.
photo from AbsCbn
With Castro, who is as of now sickly in the wake of bending his lower leg two weeks prior, and Jio Jalalon, who is feeling slight torment in his legs, let alone for the last 12-man lineup that will confront the Boomers, Gilas' backcourt obligations lay on the shoulders of the 24-year-old Ravena and the 26-year-old Alas.
Ravena, NLEX Road Warriors' second general pick in the 2017 PBA Draft, has been the most reliable and great new kid on the block in the PBA this season, submitting per amusement midpoints of 16.9 focuses, 5.7 helps and 3.7 bounce back in 10 recreations.
Oh dear, in the interim, is averaging 11.2 focuses, 4.8 bounce back and 2.5 helps and is falling off a 16-point, fourth quarter blast last February 18 that helped NLEX secure a playoff billet in the All-Filipino Cup.
"Them two have been playing exceptionally well in the PBA. He (Ravena) accounted himself extremely well in the principal window. It's hard not having our best point watch but rather this is an open door for Kiefer to venture in and for Kevin to get significantly more minutes that he normally gets," said Gilas head mentor Chot Reyes amid the declaration of the lineup.
Against the Aussies, the two watchmen should promptly get used to the playing time Reyes will give them.
Ravena, who found the middle value of 5 focuses, 3 helps and 2 bounce back in Gilas' wins against Japan and Chinese Taipei, will see his 13.1 minutes for each diversion ascend as Reyes' first choice at the point watch position while Alas needs to adapt himself with the environment of universal ball in the wake of playing a unimportant 59 seconds in the whole term of the Qualifiers' first window.
Despite the fact that Reyes said that the void left by Castro, who normed 20 focuses, 5.5 bounce back and 5 aids the main window, can't be filled in by one person, what they can do is to make up for his nonattendance all things considered.
"There's no distinction whether we have Jayson or not. Clearly, that is a major piece of our offense. As far as approach and style of play, it will be fundamentally the same," said Reyes.
"Australia is, extremely solid. They got measure, speed, extraordinary shooting. It will be exceptionally troublesome. We just got the opportunity to discover little approaches to divert them from a smidgen."
"Who knows, perhaps we get them in an off night and that will enable us to be focused."
The Philippines and Australia bolt horns 4:30 p.m. (MNL) today, February 22, at the Margaret Court Arena in Melboure. The two groups are undefeated with indistinguishable 2-0 cards.
Update as of Feb 22 evening MNL time:
Pilipinas fell 2-1 while Australia continues up to 3-0.