MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas could see action in a mini tournament in Spain as part of its preparations for the 2019 FIBA World Cup which will be staged in China starting August 31.
The Philippines may face host country Spain, Ivory Coast, and Congo after its initial plan to play in Russia for a tuneup game fell through due to practical reasons.
"It was just one game that they were committing to. We said it would be too painful to go to Russia just for one game," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio on Thursday, May 30.
Panlilio added the SBP will be asking the Spanish Basketball Federation to set up more games for the Philippine team.
The SBP and the PBA convened to discuss the plans for World Cup, but bared the date for the mini tournament has yet to be determined.
"We'll still look at the PBA schedule and tell the team owners about the plan. We don't know if it pushes through. I hope it pushes through because this is for Gilas," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial in Filipino.
What is sure, though, is that Gilas will begin its twice-a-week practices on June 13.
"I want to say that the PBA is committed to support and is sacrificing a lot of schedule and players for the national team," said Panlilio. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.