Team USA gets warm welcome in Manila ahead of Fiba World Cup
MANILA, Philippines—The United States men’s basketball team on Tuesday arrived in Manila to begin final preparations in its quest to reclaim the Fiba World Cup.
Images posted on social media by USA Basketball showed members of the team being welcomed at the tarmac by the local organizing committee after boarding a chartered flight from Abu Dhabi.
Assistant coach Erik Spoelstra, who’s known to have Filipino roots, was among those warmly welcomed before the team immediately boarded three buses that took the American contingent to the hotel.
🇵🇭 Manila! We’re excited to be here.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 22, 2023
The Americans are now in the country ahead of their opening match on Saturday against New Zealand at Mall of Asia Arena.
Coach Steve Kerr’s team played five tune-up matches in Las Vegas, Spain and the United Arab Emirates in preparation for the tournament, namely against Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Spain, Greece and Germany.
Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards, Los Angeles Lakers mainstay Austin Reaves and Orlando Magic standout Paolo Banchero lead the 12-man US roster that will aim to bounce back from a disappointing 2019 run in China.
Before placing seventh in the last edition, the United States won it all in 2010 and 2014 and is currently tied with the former Yugoslavia for most titles with five.
Also on the roster are Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart of the New York Knicks, New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram, Memphis Grizzlies defensive whiz Jaren Jackson Jr., Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, Utah Jazz’s Walker Kessler and Milwaukee Bucks frontcourt player Bobby Portis.