The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said Gilas Pilipinas' showing against Indonesia in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers provided a sneak peek of the future it is building for the 2023 World Cup.
"What we saw in the game against Indonesia was just a glimpse of what could be and we're all excited to explore what's next in the development of our young players and the whole team," the SBP said in a statement.
Gilas often struggled to put away the hosts for most of the three quarters, but its youthful potential eventually shone through on its way to a 30-point win in Jakarta.
Thirdy Ravena burst for 23 points and 3 3s off the bench to go with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 block to lead the core, while Roger Pogoy added 16 points and 6 boards in the start.
Other young stars in CJ Perez (11 points), Juan Gomez de Liano and Kiefer Ravena (10 each) came up huge for Gilas, who only had two players (Poy Erram and Justin Chua) aged above 30 on the roster.
This also marks Mark Dickel's first win on the international stage with the Philippines.
"The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas extends our congratulations to Program Director Tab Baldwin, interim head coach Mark Dickel, all the members of the coaching staff, and all the players for a job well done," the statement continued . "The SBP also thanks the PBA through Commissioner Willie Marcial and the Board of Governors for once again making their players available for this national cause."
"The future of Philippine basketball is bright."