Gilas braces for Angola in must win
MANILA, Philippines-Gilas Pilipinas battles Angola next in the 2023 Fiba World Cup, and national coach Chot Reyes is the first to warn against taking the lower-ranked Black Antelopes lightly.
“They’re tough. I’ve always thought that Angola’s a very high-quality, top-tier team,” he told reporters during a media availability after practice at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City Saturday night.
“We’re not overlooking them at all. We’re really, really preparing. We knew, whatever happened (against the Dominican Republic) last (Sunday) night, we’ll be in for a battle against Angola,” he added.
Angola is ranked No. 41 on the global ladder, a shade under No. 40-ranked Gilas Pilipinas. The Black Antelopes are also looking for their first win in the global showcase, after sputtering against the mighty Italians on opening night, 81-67.
The two teams battled in the 2019 edition of the World Cup, but Reyes also stressed that the two teams have undergone big transformations which should make Sunday’s clash a toss-up.
“I think this is a really different Angola team (we’ll be facing) as much as this is a very different Gilas team,” he said.
“A brand new ballgame as far as I’m concerned,” he went on.