The competition in Group A of the FIBA World Cup is looking tight, especially after the Dominican Republic overcame Italy.
The Dominican Republic defeated Italy in their second game of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, bringing their win-loss record up to 2-0. What does this result do for Gilas Pilipinas’ chances in the tournament?
The answer is not what the Filipino faithful hoops fan wants to hear. All this upset did was make sure that the Italians (whom Gilas will play on August 29) enter the showdown with Gilas with a similar do-or-die mindset.
Had the game gone the way the way most expected, we would have faced an Italian team that’s already qualified for the next stage. Alas, such is not the case.
Sure, there’s also the mindset that a chink has appeared in Italy’s armor with this defeat, but I wouldn’t lean on that too much. The advantage that the Italians held over us in size, speed, and familiarity did not magically go away just because they dropped a game.
This may sound pessimistic to some, but actually, this is about as real as it gets.
And don’t forget, as of this writing, we still have to deal with Angola which proved to be a very capable team as evidenced by their showing against the Italians, though in a losing effort.
Things in Group A just got a whole lot more interesting.
Now imagine if we had won against the Dominican Republic…
Images from FIBA.