MANILA, Philippines – The stage is set for Gilas Pilipinas’ stint in the 2019 FIBA World Cup that will be hosted by China from August 31 to September 15. (READ: FIBA World Cup 2019: Gilas grouped with European powerhouses)
Bunched in Group D with Serbia, Italy and Angola, the Philippines will play all of its first round games at the International Sports and Cultural Arena in Foshan – one of the 8 cities where the tournament will be staged.
The Philippines, ranked 31st in the world, will be immediately thrown into action in one of the 8 opening day games as it faces world No. 13 Italy on August 31.
World No. 4 Serbia, an NBA hotbed, will be the Philippines’ next assignment as the two countries lock horns on September 2. (READ: LOOK: NBA players Gilas may face in FIBA World Cup)
The Philippines will then end the first round against world No. 39 Angola on September 4.
Only the top two teams from each of the 8 groups will advance to the second round as the remaining two teams vie for positioning in the classification round. (READ: FAST FACTS: Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup)
Although Yeng Guiao admitted the national team is the “overwhelming underdog” in Group D, he said the Philippines will work on pulling off upsets to reach the second round. – Rappler.com
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