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Batang Gilas eyes first win vs Argentina

By Jerome Lagunzad

Game Today
(Newell’s Old Boys Stadium)
7:30 a.m. – Batang Gilas vs Argentina

Batang Gilas plunges back to action today against host Argentina with strong hopes of closing out its preliminary round campaign on a high note in the 2018 FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup at the Newell’s Old Boys Stadium in Rosario, Argentina.

Tip off is at 7:30 a.m., with the Nationals determined to come up with an encouraging performance following a one-day break after they dropped their first two matches against European champion France and Croatia with an average losing margin of 31.5 points.

As far as Batang Gilas coach Mike Oliver is concerned, the short rest could prove beneficial specifically on top guard Gerry Abadiano, the team’s third leading scorer who suffered some bruises on his left forearm.

“The rest should help Gerry relieve himself from any pain just in time for our game against the hosts,” Oliver told Tempo-Bulletin in an online chat on the eve of the final match in the opening round of the 16-team tournament.

Oliver nonetheless is brimming with confidence that the Nationals, seeded 31st in the world, can break the ice against the equally struggling Argentinians, ranked eighth overall in the world who have also suffered two blowout losses in a stacked Group D.

“Our team believes that we have a shot at Argentina,” he said. “Both teams have not won a game yet after two games in the tournament. We just have to lessen our turnovers and defend well on their transition offense.”