Duterte says Gilas Pilipinas will surely lose to Italy in FIBA World Cup 2019

Pia Ranada
Duterte says Gilas Pilipinas will surely lose to Italy in FIBA World Cup 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte plans to watch the FIBA World Cup in China this August, in the company of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would personally watch Gilas Pilipinas games in the FIBA World Cup set in Foshan, China later this August.

But in the same speech, he lightheartedly predicted that the Philippine team would surely lose its first game against Italy.

Wala talaga tayo. We will lose dito sa Italian. Ang lalaki kaya ng mga gagong ‘yan!,” he said on Tuesday, August 6, during a speech in Malacañang in front of Chinese-Filipino businessmen.

(We are nothing. We would lose here against the Italians. Those fools are so big!)

But he was equally confident Gilas Pilipinas would win over Angola, which it would face for its 3rd game.

Ang next natin, Angola. Ah, ito pwede natin ilibing nang buhay (Our next game is Angola. Ah, we can bury them alive),” said Duterte.

The Philippines vs Italy game would be played on August 31. Gilas’ second game, would be versus Serbia  on September 2. Its game versus Angola is scheduled on September 4. 

It was not clear if Duterte would watch all the Philippine games.

Duterte was also proud to say no less than Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan would accompany him to watch the games.

Samahan ako ng vice president mismo ng China doon sa basketball. Biro mo, it’s a break in protocol,” said the Philippine leader.

(The Chinese president himself will go with me to watch basketball. It’s a break in protocol.)

Other reasons to visit China

But there are other reasons Duterte will visit China again. In the same speech, he said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to bring up the Hague ruling.

He’s also headed to Fujian province because a university there put up a building in honor of his late mother, Soledad Roa Duterte.

“I’m going there to inaugurate that,” said the President.

Malacañang previously said the President’s trip would be a working visit, a type of official trip in which the government will pay for most, if not all, the expenses. – Rappler.com


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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.