THE Gilas Pilipinas advance party is on the move again.
Deputy coach Sandy Arespacochaga left for Foshan, China on Thursday for some scouting assignment for the national team in its coming FIBA World Cup campaign.
Arespacochaga’s mission: Watch Serbia go up against Italy in a mini pocket tournament in the Chinese prefecture-level city.
“Hintayin ko na lang sila pagdating doon. So one week ako ahead sa lahat,” said Arespacochaga in a short talk with SPIN.ph before leaving for China.
His regular partner, Ford Arao, will follow suit two days after.
The two had the same assignment during the last World Cup qualifiers when they went ahead of the team in Kazakhstan from Dubai to scout the team of the host country.
But Arespacochaga will travel ahead earlier in time for the August 23 match between the Serbians and the Azzurri.
“At least may isa na sa amin na makakapanood nung Serbia vs. Italy. Yun yung idea,” he said. “Papadala kami ng videos and scouting information.”
Coach Yeng Guiao said the Gilas coaching staff already have videos and scouting reports of both teams, specifically their pre-World Cup meeting last week during the Acropolis Tournament in Athens, Greece where the Serbians prevailed, 96-64.
But the Azzurri played minus star player Danilo Gallinari, who nonetheless, is expected to join the team in China.
“So iba pa rin yung ma-scout mo sila in person,” said Arespacochaga.
Italy and Serbia are the two of the three teams Gilas Pilipinas will face first in next week’s World Cup. The third team is Angola.
The teams leaves for China on Wednesday.