Batang Gilas, the national team's youth counterpart, will take on Argentina, Russia, and host country Greece in the FIBA U19 World Cup. The Philippines is set to compete in the FIBA U19 World Cup for the first time in 40 years.
FIBA announced the groupings Wednesday. The Philippines earned a slot to compete in the 14th edition of the tournament after a fourth-place finish in the FIBA U18 Asian Championship last year in Thailand.
Headlined by 7-foot-2 phenom Kai Sotto, versatile big man AJ Edu, and guard Dalph Panopio, Batang Gilas swept the group phase with a 3-0 record. They then defeated Bahrain in the quarterfinals but lost against Australia in the semis. They missed out on a podium finish after losing to China in their last assignment.
The top four teams booked a ticket to the World Cup. The Philippines qualified alongside China, New Zealand, and Australia.
Batang Gilas will have a tall task ahead of them in the U19 World Cup as all of their opponents in the group phase are ranked higher. The Philippines rated 30th in the world, will be pitted against 19th-ranked Russia, 15th-ranked Greece, and Argentina, who is ninth overall, in Group C of the tournament.
In the U19 World Cup, the 16 participating teams from across the globe will play each other in their respective groups (A, B, C, and D) for a total of three games each in the group phase. All teams will qualify for the Round of 16, where they will face another team outside their group. The winners will advance to the quarterfinals, then semis, and finally the championship round. Those who failed to make it past the Round of 16 will enter the Classification Games for placing.
The tournament will run from June 29 until July 7 in Heraklion, Greece. Batang GIlas' first assignment will be against the hosts on June 29, followed by Argentina on the 30th, and will complete the group phase on July 2 versus Russia.
The Philippines will make its return to the U19 world stage since competing in the inaugural tournament in 1979 held in Brazil.