Unfortunately, both teams are missing a pair of interior powerhouses. The group from the Philippines is without June Mar Fajardo and naturalized player Andray Blatche, while Yi Jianlian and Zhou Qi will not be participating.
Which of the teams will start their campaign with a win? Let's break down the matchup But first, we'll review the specifics of the game and how to watch it online
While two blowout losses to Turkey and Italy certainly didn't help their cause, a victory against China - the very same team that denied them of an outright ticket to Rio Olympics - will be a big boost to their sagging morale.
For China: China just learned that they are still lots of works to do for them to match a world power like Canada.
Despite fielding their presumed roster for the Olympics (including Houston Rockets draft pick Zhou Qi and former NBA player Yi Jillian), China had no match against the firepower of the Canadians who are even playing without Andrew Wiggins.
These teams will both be weaker without the giants on either side, and neither should be expected to play well as it did two years ago. Per Rappler.com, Fajardo's timeline for his calf injury from when he injured (August 4) lasts about two weeks, which means he may be available right at the end of the tournament. Regardless, he will not be playing Wednesday
Gilas Pilipinas enters this tournament with an average height of just 6'3 ", per FIBA.com, which includes the 6'9" size of Fajardo. Their top three returning scorers from the 2015 tournament (Jayson William, Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva) are all six feet tall That trio has an attack on the offensive, but the lack of size is important.
The pressure will be on players like 6'10 "Japeth Aguilar, 6'7" Raymond Almazan and 6'7 "Christian Standhardinger to hold their own against the mostly big players. Like many of their teammates, Almazan and Standhardinger both have little experience on the international level
Additionally, the team had difficulty finding time to practice as a unit because of players' schedules with the Philippine Basketball Association, according to Rick Olivares of Philstar.com. There are lots of factors stacked against the group.