THE Fiba World Cup is still a good 11 months away, but this early Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is already looking forward to the opportunity of playing tune-up matches against former Olympic champion Argentina, Angola and the Dominican Republic.
“Just got word fr our Spanish contact Argentina,Angola,Dom Rep are open to pre World Cup games w us.Will meet in Slovenia to ask Euro tms too,” Reyes said on his Twitter account @coachot on Thursday while on vacation cum scouting trip in Europe with his wife, Cherry.
Reyes, who steered Gilas to a runner-up finish behind Iran in last month’s Fiba Asia men’s championships, is in Norway as of the moment though he is closely monitoring the latest developments in the ongoing 2013 Fiba Europe championships, which is being hosted by Slovenia.
The Argentines remain a force in world basketball owing to the presence of NBA veterans led by big man Luis Scola, who averaged 18.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in the Fiba Americas.
Scola was a member of the Argentine national squad that upset the NBA-powered USA Team in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis. The Argentines went on to place second after bowing to Serbia and Montenegro in the gold medal game.
Argentina went on to win the gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics under the leadership of NBA superstar Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs.
Meantime, Angola is the newly-crowned Fiba Africa champion following its 57-40 finals win over Egypt. Both African nations will be joined by third placer Senegal in representing the African continent in the World Cup.
The Philippines, Iran and Fiba Asia third placer South Korea earned the right to represent the Asian region for the Fiba World Cup next year in Spain.
Fiba Americas will be represented by newly-crowned champion Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in the World Cup while Fiba Eurobasket will determine six more World Cup participants.
Four wildcards will be selected by Fiba for the 24-nation competition.