Gilas game vs Taiwan on last day of first round

Games on Aug. 1 (Mall of Asia Arena)

11 a.m. - Iran vs Malaysia

1:15 p.m. - Jordan vs Taiwan

3:30 p.m. - Japan vs Qatar

5:45 p.m. - China v South Korea

8:30 p.m. - Gilas Pilipinas vs Saudi Arabia

10:30 p.m. - Lebanon vs Hong Kong

The encounter between Gilas Pilipinas and Taiwan will be held on the final day of group preliminaries of the FIBA-Asia Championship on Aug. 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

That would probably be significant depending on how the two teams will fare in the previous games where each will meet Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

But it could also have more meaning as the two countries have been embroiled in a diplomatic row over the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman last month with the Philippines' stint in the Jones Cup as collateral damage.

Some will see the encounter as emotional with the Philippine side looking for a big victory if only to make its displeasure over the Jones Cup issue very apparent.

However, if the two teams lose to Jordan and the second spot will be at stake, then the fireworks and intensity will more than double. Placing third overall would mean meeting the big guns in the next phase and a likely departure for the next round.

Gilas will open its campaign against Saudi Arabia on Aug. 1 before facing Jordan the following day in a rematch of the semis two years ago in Wuhan, China.

Also a must-see in the opening day is the showdown between defending champion China and South Korea at 5:45 p.m.

Others scheduled to play on Day One are Taiwan and Jordan at 1:15 p.m., two-time champion Iran and Malaysia at 11 a.m., Japan and Qatar at 3:30 p.m., and Lebanon and Hong Kong at 10:30 p.m. at the MOA Arena.

Also on that day, Kazakhstan faces Thailand at 6 p.m. and India battles Bahrain at 8:30 p.m. over at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium - the approved secondary venue.

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