The Gilas Pilipinas team caught a break, after Uzbekistan withdrew from the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup, set for July 11-19 in Wuhan, China.
With an automatic berth at the FIBA Asia Championship in 2015 at stake, the Philippines, along with the other three Group B teams, Chinese-Taipei, Singapore and Jordan, are all set to go through to the round of eight. Their group stage games will only be for seeding purposes.
Meanwhile in Group A, the team with the lowest record among China, India, Indonesia, Iran and Japan and will face an early exit.
While the Philippines is eyeing the tourney as a warm-up for the FIBA World Cup late in August, a strong showing will surely give them a good morale boost, heading into Spain.
While Jayson Castro, Larry Fonacier, Jimmy Alapag, Marc Pingris, Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan will sit this one out, taking their place will be Kevin Alas, Garvo Lanete, Jay Washington, Paul Lee and Beau Belga. That quintet will join Ranidel De Ocampo, Japeth Aguilar, Gary David, LA Tenorio, Jared Dillinger, June Mar Fajardo and Marcus Douthit.
In the 2012 edition of the tourney, Gilas Pilipinas finished fourth, after losing 79-63 to Qatar in the battle for third place.