The Philippines Under-17 National Team is set to enter the 2018 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in Argentina as heavy underdogs, but will look to gain as much experience as they can when they return to face off against the elite teams at the world stage.

Batang Gilas, who qualified to the U17 World Cup after making it all the way to the semifinals of the 2018 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship last April, will try to steal a victory against the world’s best teenage basketball squads. They last participated in the 2014 edition but failed to win a single game at the United Arab Emirates.

Ranked world number 34 in the U17 division, the Filipinos are pooled in Group D with heavy favorites Croatia (number 10), France (number 7), and hosts Argentina (number 8).

The Philippine side will be anchored in the frontcourt by Kai Sotto, Shaun Chiu, Mclaude Guadana, Yukien Andrada, Raven Cortez, Carl Tamayo, RC Calimag, and Joshua Lazaro, while Rence Padrigao, Terrence Fortea, Jose Miguel Pascual, and Gerry Abadiano completes the backcourt.

Tournament schedule (Manila Time):
July 1 0430H vs Croatia
July 2 0515H vs France
July 4 0730H vs Argentina

Head tactician Mike Oliver will be flanked by assistant coaches Josh Reyes and MC Abolucion as he calls the shots from the sideline.

Batang Gilas will get their first taste of action when they face off against Croatia on Sunday, July 1 (0430 Manila time) at the Newell’s Old Boys Gymnasium in Rosario, Argentina.