TEAM Pilipinas opens its Fiba World Cup campaign against Italy on Aug 31 in Foshan, China.
Angola and Serbia, which are also bracketed in Group D along with Philippines and Italy, will also see action on opening day, which features a heavy eight-game bill.
Host China opens its bid against Cote d’Ivoire in Group A along with the game pitting Venezuela vs. Poland.
In Group B, Russia goes up against Nigeria, while Korea will have an early encounter with Argentina.
The Spain versus Tunisia match kicks off hostilities in Group C, followed by the Iran-Puerto Rico showdown.
After a one-day rest, the Filipinos buckle down to work on Sept. 2 against Serbia, the 2014 World Cup runner-up, before capping their preliminary round campaign two days later against Angola.
Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the next round.
Coach Yeng Guiao sees the schedule as favorable for the national team.
“That’s good for us. It just means to say na pag nakalaban mo yung Italy, on your first game, you have to bring everything you have,” he said.
“By the time we play our first game, by the time we get there, we should be ready to play 100 percent. There is no such thing as getting warmed up, getting your rhythm, getting your momentum first.
"It’s a one-time deal and we better be ready for that on August 31st.”