WITH a trip to Las Vegas in doubt, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has trained his sights on Australia or New Zealand as the national team searches for quality tune-up matches ahead of the Fiba-Asia men’s championships set on August 1-11 in Manila.
Arriving from a two-week training camp and series of tune-up games in Lithuania on Tuesday, Reyes explained they hope to face quality opponents in either Australia or New Zealand since Gilas only has 41 days left before the Fiba-Asia showpiece.
“We really need quality games so the guys can gain more experience playing as a team against organized and tough opponents, who are at the same level we expect to meet in the FIBA-Asia,” said Reyes.
“We’re running out of time because of the logistics involved in booking hotels and getting visas to the US. Therefore, we’re looking at doing an Australia or New Zealand tour in lieu of Las Vegas,” he added.
Gilas resumes its practice on Friday beginning at 8 p.m. at the Ynares Center in Pasig City as they try to build on the momentum they gained in Lithuania.
The 13-man squad posted a 5-2 record in the seven-game tune-up against three club teams as well the Lithuanian 20-and-under national team the past two weeks.
As the countdown continues for the Fiba-Asia tourney, Reyes also mentioned they are looking at holding their practice sessions at the Mall of Asia Arena, the main venue for the Fiba-Asia joust.
While the schedule is being sorted out by MOA Arena officials, Gilas will hold its practice from June 24-30 at the Araneta Coliseum from 8 to 10 p.m.