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    SBP eyes tune-up games for Gilas in Spain, Russia ahead of World Cup

    May 9, 2019
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is considering adding Spain to Gilas Pilipinas' preparation itinerary heading to the FIBA World Cup in China.

    SBP President Al Panlilio disclosed the trip to Spain came about after plans to have Gilas Pilipinas play Lithuania, Australia, and New Zealand in a series of tune-up games failed to materialize.

    Panlilio, though, said the quick tour to Spain is still in the planning stage.

    “Nung una kasi Lithuania wanted to come over, but there was change in plans. We’re trying to reach out to Australia and New Zealand, but they seemed to have had their calendars set already,” said Panlilio.

    “So right now we’re looking at Spain and Russia,” he said. “But again it’s something that we need to finalized with them (Spain).”

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      If it pushes through, the national team will first make the trip to Spain and then come back here in the country for a brief respite.

      Continue reading below ↓

      Then it’s off to Russia in Khabarovsk on Aug. 22 to 25 to play two games against the national team, according to Panlilio.

      From Russia, the team will proceed directly to China for the World Cup that kicks off on August 31.

      “From there, we’re deciding to go straight to China. Hindi na babalik ng Manila, kasi the place where we’re playing is near Beijing, about two hours.

      “So it’s up in the north. So we can just go down to Foshan (China). It may be easier, it may be hard to go all the way back to Manila.”

      Panlilio said the exhibition matches in Spain will be held at the frontend of August for Team Pilipinas to make the necessary adjustment first.

      “Yung ang unang set for Yeng (Guiao) to be able to adjust and do some changes and adjustment,” said the SBP president. “And then yun nga, tailend yung Russia just before the World Cup.”

      Continue reading below ↓

      Gilas Pilipinas is bracketed in Group D with Serbia, Italy, and Angola.

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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