Familiar faces in first window of Fiba World Cup qualifiers

GILAS Pilipinas may not see action in the first window of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Qualifiers, but that doesn’t mean Pinoy fans won’t see some familiar faces in matches to be played around the world. whole from this Thursday.

Isaiah Thomas leads the pack as the two-time NBA All-Star will once again be the center of attention for Team USA in the Americas Playoffs.

Other NBA players in the pool games are Juan Toscano-Anderson of the Golden State Warriors for Mexico, as well as former players managed by JJ Barea of ​​Puerto Rico, Milos Teodosic of Serbia and Hamed Haddadi of Iran.

But the list is not limited to NBA players.

Former UAAP MVP and University of the Philippines center Bright Akhuetie has been named in the Nigeria pool, which will also be coached by former Red Bull importer Julius Nwosu in the first round of playoffs Africans.

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Matthew Aquino was also included in Japan’s 24-man squad, a surprise call-up for the former Adamson and National University slot player and son of PBA great Marlou Aquino who now sees the action for the Shinshu Brave Warriors.

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Former La Salle keeper Bader Malabes has once again been included in the Bahrain pool as they play in Group D of the Asian qualifiers.

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PBA reinforcements are also plentiful in the World Cup qualifiers.

Leading the pack is incoming Meralco import Tony Bishop, who will look to play first for Panama in their back-to-back games against Venezuela in Buenos Aires, Argentina in Group A of the USA qualifiers before heading to the Philippines for the 2021-22 PBA Governors Cup.

Former Colombian importer Lester Prosper will also be the naturalized player for Indonesia, who will face Lebanon in a two-game series on November 26-29.

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Rakeem Christmas, who played for Magnolia in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, is also part of the Virgin Islands squad in the Americas Group C playoffs who will face the Dominican Republic in back-to-back games.

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Kristofer Acox, who also played for the Hotshots in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, has been named to the Iceland national team which is in Group H of the European Qualifiers and will face the Netherlands and Russia in this first window.

Mohammad Jamshidi (Iran) and Mahmoud Abdeen (Jordan), who both competed in the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup, will also lead their respective nations in the upcoming Asian qualifiers.

Additionally, former Smart Gilas center CJ Giles will be in action, this time as a naturalized player for Bahrain.

Even our Pinoys’ overseas teammates, especially those in the Japan B.League, will represent their countries in this window.

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Top gun Niigata Albirex and Kobe Paras teammate Rosco Allen will play for Hungary, while Shiga Lakestars center and Kiefer Ravena counterpart Ovie Soko will play for Great Britain in the European qualifiers.

Tenketsu Harimoto, Yutaro Suda and Takumi Saito, who are all teammates of Bobby Ray Parks in the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, are also part of the Akatsuki Five pool.

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