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Batang Gilas drawn to tough group in FIBA U19

Kai Sotto and Batang Gilas are in for a tough grind in the FIBA 19 World Cup. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Batang Gilas will play in a tough group in the FIBA U19 World Cup.

After the draw held in Herkalion, Greece on Wednesday, Batang Gilas will have Argentina, Greece, and Russia with the squad in Group C.

Argentina, (ninth), Greece (15th), and Russia (19th) are all above Batang Gilas (30th) in the recent FIBA boys ranking.

No team, however, will be eliminated after the group stage as the teams will collide for seeding purposes in the playoffs.

The Group C teams will then face off with the teams in Group D in the first round of the knockout stages in crossover format.

That means the top seed of one group will take on the fourth seed of the other group and the second seed of one group will battle the other group's third seed.

Group D is looming to be the "group of death" as China, Puerto Rico, France, Serbia, all inside the Top 15 in the FIBA ranking, are in it.

USA and Lithuania, two of the top three teams in the world ranking, headline Group A alongside Senegal and New Zealand.

The other team in the Top 3, Canada, is expected to top Group B, which also has Mali, Australia, and Latvia.

Seven-foot-two beanpole Kai Sotto is expected to lead Batang Gilas.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno