Gilas Pilipinas takes on Lebanon in the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
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While the two nations are already qualified for the World Cup, the Filipinos hope to defend their home turf when they face the Cedars on Friday, February 24 at the Philippine Arena.
It adds fuel to the fire that the Philippines lost to Lebanon on the road during their first meeting in the fourth window. (READ: Gilas Pilipinas seeks vengeance against Lebanon)
The Filipinos then suffered an 85-81 loss to the Lebanese in front of a raucous Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex crowd in Beirut last August, led by Utah Jazz standout Jordan Clarkson.
Gilas Pilipinas will try to repay the favor at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena, this time with resident Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee.
Brownlee, a naturalized Filipino, hopes to make a successful debut for the national team, which has been on a roll since its loss to Lebanon, winning all three of its last three games to improve to 5-3.
Aside from Brownlee, the Philippines is counting on Dwight Ramos and June Mar Fajardo to deliver against the Cedars, who have a near-perfect 7-1 record in Group E.
Ramos is expected to play in all of the Filipinos’ Asian Qualifiers games, while Fajardo makes his debut after missing the first five windows.
The game begins at 6 p.m. (READ: How to Watch Gilas Pilipinas Games in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers 2023)