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    Mixed feelings for Chot as Gilas grouped with Italy, Dominican Republic, Angola

    Gilas coach would've wanted Ivory Coast over Angola
    Apr 29, 2023
    Dirk Nowitzki Luis Scola Fiba World Cup draw Italy Gilas Pilipinas Group A
    Dirk Nowitzki draws Italy among Gilas' Group A foes.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes had mixed feelings towards the result of the draw that saw the Philippines competing against Italy, Angola, and Dominican Republic in the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup.

    Chot on Gilas groupmates in 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup

    Reyes said that regardless of the result of the draw, Gilas Pilipinas will be facing a daunting task against the world’s best when Fiba’s premier competition is hosted by the Philippines along with Japan and Indonesia.

    But Reyes also said he would have also wanted to have a better draw, mentioning that he would have preferred to have Cote D’Ivoire in Group A rather than Angola.

    “This is the World Cup so there’s no such thing as an easy draw. But the best way that I can categorize it, it’s not ideal but it could have been better,” said Reyes after the draw ceremony held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

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    “I would have hoped that the last pick was Ivory Coast instead of Angola because I thought Angola was the tougher team. Not that Ivory Coast is weak by any means. But other than that, it is what it is."

    Reyes though said there is also a sense of relief that the draw is over and that Gilas can now plot specifically their preparation for the Basketball World Cup.

    “Good thing is that now, we have some clarity on who we are playing and what kind of preparation is necessary to be at our best come August,” said Reyes.

    Gilas will be playing the three teams which are no strangers.

    The Philippines played against Italy and Angola in their winless campaign in the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup coached by Yeng Guiao.

    In 2021, Gilas Pilipinas under Tab Baldwin also battled against Dominican Republic in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.

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    Reyes said being grouped again with the three nations isn’t exactly an advantage.

    “It goes both ways. We know them. They know us. There’s going to be a few surprises. But in the end, that’s going to be determined by how well we can prepare, how well we can get together, play together, and how many quality tune-up games before the actual [tournament],” Reyes said.

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      “No. 10, No. 23, No. 41. That’s the best way to describe it. Italy is No. 10 in the world, Dominican is No. 23, and we are basically tied with Angola,” said Reyes.

      Gilas will play Dominican Republic on August 25 at the Philippine Arena to open the Fiba Basketball World Cup. The Nationals also face Angola on August 27 and Italy on August 29 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

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      Dirk Nowitzki draws Italy among Gilas' Group A foes.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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