Gilas Pilipinas will be playing at least three games in Spain before their campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
During a press conference on Thursday, May 30, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio announced that the Philippine National Men’s Basketball team, ranked 31st in the world, will face Spain, ranked 2nd; Ivory Coast, ranked 64th; and Congo, ranked 82nd, in a mini-tournament.
The date of Gilas Men’s trip to Spain will be finalized based on the PBA’s rescheduling of the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.
“Based on the schedule we submitted to the PBA, yun ang naka-calendar doon – practice games and a mini-tournament in Spain for the Gilas Pilipinas team,” said Panlilio, who presented the national team’s itinerary to the PBA board ahead of the press briefing.
Initially, Panlilio explained that the SBP eyed training camps for Gilas in Spain and Russia.
However, the organization discarded the plan to have a training camp in Russia since the country’s basketball federation, headed by former NBA player Andrei Kirilenko, can only offer a single tune-up game.
“It fell through since its only one game that they are committing to us,” Panlilio said.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup will run from August 30 to September 15 in China.