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Team Pilipinas gears up for FIBA Esports Open on Nov. 14 to 15

Following the massive success of the first-ever FIBA Esports Open early this year, FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, has announced the FIBA Esports Open II, a second run of the historic set of exhibition games that brought esports to the FIBA stage. The tip-off is on November 14-15 and will be streamed on the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Facebook Page.

Expanding from the original field of 17 teams, FIBA Esports Open II will feature a larger crop of participants with 38 national teams grouped into six regional conferences happening over the course of three weekends.

The participating teams will be grouped up into the following conferences factoring in geographical conditions and server distributions: Africa, North and Central America, South America, Europe, Middle East, and Southeast Asia/Oceania.  

Each team will be composed of seven players: five on the court and two reserves. The games will be played remotely on Playstation 4 in NBA 2K21’s Pro-AM mode where each member of the team will control an individual player character. As before, teams can fully customize their player avatars, uniforms, and arena designs. 

The Philippines will once again be represented by Playbook Laus Esports, which dominated the first FIBA Esports Open last June by sweeping their 5-game exhibition match against Indonesia. With their performance, Team Pilipinas joined the ranks of Australia, Argentina, Italy, and Saudi Arabia, who emerged on top of their respective conferences proving they deserved their spot amongst the NBA 2K greats. 

For FIBA Esports Open II, Team Pilipinas will be composed of veterans and champions in the competitive NBA 2K scene:  Angelico Cruzin aka Shintarou;  2-Time NBA 2K Asia Champion Aminolah Polog Jr. aka Rial; NBA 2K17 Asia champion Custer Galas aka Custer,  NBA 2K18 Asia Champion Philippe Alcaraz Herrero IV aka IzzoIV; Clark Banzon aka Clark; and reserves Arnie Sison ELChapO; and Rocky Braña aka Rak and coached by Nite Alparas.  

“We are thrilled to once again represent the nation in the FIBA Esports Open II. Being invited back is both an honor and a challenge to Team Pilipinas, which we’ll meet with passion and sportsmanship in the true spirit of Philippine Basketball,” said Richard Brojan, who co-manages Team Pilipinas with Paul Laus from Playbook Laus Esports. 

Team Pilipinas is backed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the organization that governs all official basketball competitions in the Philippines. 

“The FIBA Esports Open II gives the nation another opportunity to celebrate our passion for basketball through friendly competition with our peers from around the world. I’m confident that Team Pilipinas will once again show the best of what our country has to offer in the sport that we Filipinos love – whether it’s on the hardcourt or online,” says Alfredo S. Panlilio, President of Samahan ng Basketball ng Pilipinas.

Team Pilipinas has also garnered support from telecom giants and esports advocates PLDT and Smart as they carry our flag in the historic games.

“Our support for Filipino esports athletes through the years is rooted in our firm belief that our players have the skills, talent, and dedication to be at par with the best players in the world. We hope Team Pilipinas can serve as an inspiration to all casual players and fans to aim high and pursue their passions,” says Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.

Africa, Middle East, and Southeast Asia/Oceania conferences will tip-off on November 14-15. The Europe conference will be played on December 12-13 and the North and Central America, and South America conferences on December 19-20. Individual finals will take place in each of the respective conferences with a best of three format.   

Catch Team Pilipinas in action this weekend by visiting the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Facebook Page.

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