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The Gilas Pilipinas Men’s final 12-man lineup for the 2019 FIBA World Cup will be revealed on Sunday, right after the national team’s final tuneup match against the Adelaide 36ers at the Meralco Gym.
This was announced by Gilas Pilinas Men head coach Yeng Guiao amid questions about the final roster of the Foshan, China-bound squad, during the national team’s sendoff and welcome press conference for the visiting Australian team on Wednesday at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall in Pasig City.
“Up to now, myself and the coaching staff are having a hard time (deciding) on the final 12,” the fiery mentor said.
Guiao, together with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, SBP President Al Panlilio, and SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios, welcomed the four-time National Basketball League champion team, which will help the nationals’ buildup for the global basketball showpiece by playing in a pair of friendly games on August 23 and 25.
The first of two tuneup games will be the first basketball interaction between the two countries since July 2, 2018, when the infamous “basketbrawl” happened between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australia Boomers during the World Cup Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena.
“We anticipate good games against (the) Adelaide 36ers. I suggested that we play the Australian team weeks before but our schedules did not match. So the SBP did the next best thing which is to invite the Adelaide 36ers,” Guiao said.
Adelaide should give Gilas a great challenge, as it boasts five players standing 6-foot-8 and above, led by 6-11 Harry Froling, and was a top-5 team in Australia the previous season.
Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright, who was a former PBA import for Presto, said that this trip to Manila is a great opportunity “to bring the team together and practice techniques that they can use and roll out in their own campaign in the NBL.
The goodwill games between the Gilas Pilipinas Men and Adelaide 36ers are set on Friday and Sunday at the Meralco Gym in Pasig, where only select media and VIP guests will be allowed to watch the games.