No Gilas-Australia friendlies for World Cup prep due to schedule conflict
MANILA, Philippines—Yeng Guiao’s wish for a friendly between the Philippine national basketball team and Australia isn’t going to happen.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said a scrimmage between Gilas Pilipinas and the Boomers won’t be part of the Philippines’ for the upcoming 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup in Foshan.
Marcial on Thursday said the Boomers’ schedule in preparation for the World Cup is already packed and that there’s no way for the Philippines to face them in a scrimmage, which what was Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas initially wanted to happen.
“They [the SBP] planned it but it just so happened that Australia’s schedule is full so they’re looking at either New Zealand or Korea,” said Marcial in Filipino at Cuneta Astrodome before the Game 5 tip-off between San Miguel and Phoenix in the semifinals.
The Philippines and Australia figured in an ugly brawl during the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers that resulted in 13 players getting suspended.
Guiao said during the past Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that he wanted Gilas to play the Boomers in an attempt to foster goodwill between the teams.
Scheduling, though, made that impossible.
“We reached out to Australia but once we knew their schedule was full, it was scrapped,” said Guiao.
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