(Photo credit: Chooks to Go)

Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao is keeping his fingers cross that the Philippines will get a favorable bracket when the draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 takes place on March 16 (Saturday) in Shenzhen, China.

Guiao, acknowledging the might of the world’s best in the sport, the Philippine’s chances to break into the elite stage of world basketball also lies in the luck of the draw.

Getting into the world Cup was a difficult challenge already for Gilas and playing in the tournament among the world best is another great mountain to conquer.

“I am really praying for a good draw,” said Guiao. “Talagang umaasa ako sa sinasabi nila na “luck of the draw” dahil kung medyo pantay lang tayo sa mga makakagrupo natin at magagawa natin na makapanalo ng dalawang laro, malaki ang tsansa natin na makuha ang pinakamataas na placing after the group round.”

The tournament will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15 in different key cities in China.

China, being the host, is given the privilege to choose their bracket. A lone slot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is also at stake for the top finisher in Asia.

Two spots each are also given to the Americas and Europe and one each from Africa and Oceania.

The Philippines join other Asian qualifiers Iran, Japan, South Korea, Jordan and outright qualifier China host China.

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