No Philippines Team on 23rd Dubai International Basketball Tournament?

  • Thursday, December 29, 2011
  • By Ion Gonzaga
  • 0 Comments

Smart Gilas - Philippines ended the 2011 Tournament as 1st Runner-up to Egypt
The annual Dubai International Basketball Invitational Tournament will start on 12th January until the 21st. Games will happen at Al Ahli Basketball Stadium in Dubai.

As of this writing, 10 teams from 6 countries have confirmed participation. They are:

Egypt: Al Gezira - Al Ittihad Alexandria
Syria: Al Jalaa Aleppo
UAE: UAE NT- Al Ahli Dubai
Kazakhstan: BK Almaty Alma-Ata
Iran: Zob Ahan Esfahan
Lebanon: Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut-Anibal Zahle-Hoops Club.

Surprisingly, regular guest team and tough title contender, and the biggest crowd-drawer Philippines is not (yet) on the list. Smart Gilas, the Philippines national team who represented the country in the last 2 tournaments, has not been re-formed since most of the players have joined pro.

Powerade Tigers club in the PBA was invited and supposedly would fly in to represent Philippines since they have 2 of the most popular Gilas mainstays in their roster - JV Casio and Marcio Lassiter. But with their surprising upset of the top team in the league, they will be playing in the PBA semifinals which is aligned with the Dubai Invitationals.

The Stadium is always filled up to the rafters with basketball-crazy Pinoys when Philippines team is playing.
Could the absence of a Philippine basketball team this time means a drop in the crowd?

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