Who Would Gilas Pilipinas Face If They Make The Olympics?

We look at Gilas Pilipinas’ group stage opposition, should they qualify for the Paris Olympics. 

Just like that, basketball fans can now look forward to the Paris Olympics. This, as the group draws have been completed at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball, or the FIBA Headquarters in Mies, Switzerland. 

Should they qualify, our beloved Gilas Pilipinas would begin their Olympic run in the tournament’s Group B. Awaiting them are France, Germany, and Japan–with the latter two having memorable runs in the FIBA World Cup held in August to September last year.

So, while Tim Cone and our boys are preparing for an Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July, let’s take a look at their opposition. Nothing is set in stone, but as the Filipino cliche goes, bilog ang bola. 

The draw results for the Olympics Men's Basketball tournament
A photo of the French national team, one of Gilas Pilipinas' potential Olympics opponents
France during the 2023 FIBA World Cup (FIBA)

Barring any injuries, France’s Olympics home stand would include the 7’4 Frenchman and current Gregg Popovich project Victor Wembenyama. 

What makes Wembenyama extra scarier is his talent. Being 7’4 is already overwhelming, but Wembenyama has shown so far he can actually play if his life depended on it. 

Numbers-wise, Wembenyama is currently averaging 20.8 points, 10.4 blocks, and almost four blocks in 60 games played in the NBA. In his senior national team debut, Wembenyama also averaged around 19 points and eight rebounds in four games at a FIBA World Cup qualifier last year. 

Wembanyama would likely join a team hungry for redemption. In last year’s FIBA World Cup, the Les Bleus suffered a group stage exit, far from being the ninth best basketball program internationally, and silver medalists in the Tokyo Olympics. 

These factors might just result in inspired play from the French cagers, who were recently led by NBA veterans Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum, and Evan Fournier. 

A photo of the German national team, one of Gilas Pilipinas' potential Olympics' opponents
Germany celebrates their 2023 World Cup win (FIBA)

Germany is entering this Olympics as the reigning World Cup champions. Standout names in that World Cup team featured Dennis Schroder, and the Wagner brothers Franz and Moritz. 

To recall, that squad pulled off upsets over the United States, and Serbia to claim international basketball glory. Like Germany, these two teams also featured NBA-level talent, especially the United States. 

Currently, Schroder has split time between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets, with joint averages of 13 points, and six assists in around 69 games. For the Wagner brothers, Franz continues to be one of the Orlando Magic’s key cogs, with about 20 points per game, to go along with five and a half rebounds. 

Like most teams, nothing is set in stone for Germany’s Olympics lineup just yet. But it’s safe to assume that these NBA-caliber talents would once again fill up the Gordon Herbert-mentored squad. 

A photo of the German national team, one of Gilas Pilipinas' potential Olympics' opponents
The Akatsuki during the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers (FIBA)

It’s safe to say that Japan is the best Asian team right now. In a memorable World Cup run, the Akatsuki clinched their Olympics berth by virtue of being the best Asian team in the global tournament. 

And the Japanese don’t seem to be slowing down either. As of writing, they have swept the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, which includes a landmark 76-73 win over the Chinese national basketball team, and a 77-56 drubbing of Guam.

Like the World Cup, a familiar face in that recent campaign is rising star and Yokohama B-Corsairs stud Yuki Kawamura, who led the Guam drubbing with 15 points, and six assists. In his local Japanese B-League, Kawamura is averaging 22.3 points, and seven assists, and three rebounds.

For the Olympics, expect the Akatsuki to capitalize on their speed and shooting. Unlike other teams in this group, or even the world, the Japanese lack the physical gifts, which they have compensated for by turning their strengths to weaknesses.

Also expect the Akatsuki to have Keisei Tominaga, who has been a revelation for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and has been dubbed the “Japanese Stephen Curry”. NBA-level talents, namely the Lakers’ Rui Hachimura and the Grizzlies’ Yuta Watanabe, should be joining the Olympic squad as well.

Banner Image from FIBA

Dwight, Height Is Might, and Other Gilas Highlights

Filipinos Who Are Still Aiming For the 2024 Paris Olympics

Paris-Bound: The Filipino Athletes Qualified For The 2024 Olympics