2011 FIBA-Asia Champions Cup Side Stories!

Gilas Coach Rajko Toroman is wary of Iran and Lebanon

Mahram of Iran and Al-Riyadi of Lebanon have always been difficult teams to face in the FIBA-Asia Champions Cup, and this year will be no different.

Both clubs feature several national team stalwarts who are surely expected to make quite an impression in Manila come this weekend.

Coach Rajko Toroman has his work
cut out for him
(image from sportsfandom.blogspot.com)
 “Iran and Lebanon will be bringing in some of the members of its national teams," said Smart-Gilas coach Rajko Toroman, who once mentored the Iranian NT.

Another potential headache for Toroman is NBA jorneyman and former Arizona Wildcat Loren Woods, who played for Mahram last year but will don Al-Riyadi’s colors this time around.

Some of the national team members expected to make a splash in this year’s Champions Cup are naturalized Lebanese big man Joseph Vogel, his teammate Ali Mahmoud, and Iranians Samad Nikkah Bahrami and Mahdi Kamrani.

Samad Nikkah Bahrami is touted to
lead Mahram-Iran
(image from MEHR/Payvand.com)

Gilas’s present “import” faces its former import

Marcus Douthit will try to
prove himself anew
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA.ph)
Gilas’s naturalized big man Marcus Douthit is set to face former Gilas import, and prime naturalization candidate, CJ Giles in the FIBA-Asia Champions Cup this weekend. Giles has been signed by the Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad, which Gilas will face right on opening day.

Sounding a little concerned, Gilas coach Rajko Toroman said, “Our main goal is to at least be in the finals and get a chance to win the tournament. But first things first, we need to top our group because we don’t want to face the top three teams in the other group because they’re all strong.”

CJ Giles and Smart-Gilas will
cross paths once again
(image from ginkingstambayan.blogspot.com)
After battling the Saudis, Gilas will take on the Kuala Lumpur Dragons, who have replaced injured import Nakiea Miller with Chris Ayer, on May 29, Sunday. Up next will be Iraq’s Duhok club and ASU of Jordan.

Gilas will only use one “import” in Giles, but will be reinforced by two PBA players, namely Asi Taulava (Meralco Bolts) and DonDon Hontiveros (Air 21).

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