Fiba World Cup: Gilas Pilipinas focusing on Italy game | Inquirer Sports

Fiba World Cup: Gilas Pilipinas focusing on Italy game

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 04:38 PM August 27, 2019

Guiao gilas

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines’ opening game against Italy will most likely determine its fate in the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China moving forward.

That’s why Gilas Pilipinas’ coaching staff has all hands on deck with its preparations.

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“We have tunnel vision on Italy because we feel that’s going to be our most important game,” national team head coach Yeng Guiao said during the PSA Forum Tuesday at Amelie Hotel Manila. “All our resources with our scouting, time have been focused on that.”

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Gilas will be needing every bit of help it can get against Italy, which Guiao expects to be in full force in the World Cup.

At the forefront of the Italians campaign will be Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Danilo Gallinari and former NBA veteran Luigi Datome.

“We were hoping Gallinari and Datome won’t be with them but it looks like they’re going to play,” Guiao said.

“We’re going to have to face a stronger team with Gallinari and Datome playing but more or else we’ve familiarized ourselves with what they do and their players.”

Apart from Italy, the Philippines is also in the same group as world power Serbia and African champion Angola.

Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the next round and a major upset over the Italians would bolster Gilas’ chances with the game against Angola winnable.

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“The plan is that our chances against Serbia are lesser than our chances against Italy so we focused our resources on Italy because if we lose to Serbia and we win over Italy and Angola, we’re still going to be okay,” Guiao said.

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Gilas leaves for China on Thursday morning.

TAGS: Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas, Italy, World Cup

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