GILAS Pilipinas’ tuneup game against the Angola national team on Friday was scrapped after members of the reigning Fiba Africa champion failed to secure their visa to Spain in time for the match.
The two squads were supposed to square off on Friday in Vittoria, Spain to kick off a run of nine tune-up matches for Gilas as part of the national squad’s buildup for the Fiba World Cup in late this month.
“(Tune-up) cancelled because Angola wasn’t able to get their visas on time,” Gilas team manager Aboy Castro told Spin.ph on Friday morning.
The nationals, though, will have another chance to face Angola on August 21 in San Sebastian, Spain in a tune-up match, part of the series of games Gilas is scheduled to play in Europe.
Angola is actually coming off a three-team tournament in Brazil also involving Argentina last week.
The reigning African champions bowed to the Brazilians, 90-68, before dropping an 86-77 decision to Argentina, which is in Gilas' group in the Fiba World Cup.
After two weeks together, including 11 days in a Miami training camp, Castro said Gilas players have bonded well, along with the coaching staff led by Chot Reyes and consultant Tab Baldwin.
“Of course, ang dami na kaming shared experiences. And we’re learning and getting better daily,” he added.
For the moment, Castro said Gilas’ schedule remains packed since the nationals will be facing the ACB Selection in Vittoria on Sunday.
ACB is Spain’s top tier pro league that includes Real Madrid, the league's all-time winningest team, as well as FC Barcelona, the reigning champion.
Here's the revised schedule of Gilas (Note: August 8 game against Canada is awaiting confirmation at posting time)