2015 FIBA Asia Championship knockout stage begins today

The FIBA Asia 2015 Championship Knockout stage begins today with Gilas Pilipinas facing Lebanon at 9:30 PM Tonight. Photo courtesy of FIBA.

By Jason Espiritu

ONLY one team can gain an outright bid to join other countries who have already, or will still qualify to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The road to Rio in a nutshell, three days of action, eight countries, only one country will qualify.

Our very own Gilas 3.0 finished first in Group E after the preliminary and second round of action.

After losing to Palestine on opening day, Gilas had the sense of urgency and are now currently riding on a five-game winning streak, entering the knockout stages of the tournament.

With a little draw of luck, Gilas now has an easier route to the Gold medal due to matchup pairings.

The team will face Lebanon tonight at 9:30 p.m.

The winner of the match will advance and face the winner of the game between Japan and Qatar in the semifinals.

The other bracket will see Iran facing Korea and China battling India.

The winners of the above mentioned matches will also advance and play tomorrow in the other semifinal game.

The gold medal match is scheduled on Oct. 3.

Let us keep on supporting and praying for our Gilas men.

It is an easier route but nothing is guaranteed. They need every bit of our support and prayers.

Three more wins and we will all make history. Never stop cheering.

Laban Pilipinas, PUSO!

Follow the writer on Twitter: @EST42890

"Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and does not reflect the opinions of Dugout Philippines."