Gilas targets a Lithuania training camp and matches with European opposition

May 8, 2023

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The men’s basketball team from the Philippines will practice in Europe in order to get ready for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The dates have not been set, according to Gilas Pilipinas Coach Chot Reyes, but the squad will travel to Lithuania to play a few exhibition games against nations taking part in the quadrennial showcase.

Reyes stated on Saturday in the Power & Play show of former PBA commissioner Noli Eala that it is already quite certain that we will play in Lithuania and play a few warm-up games in Estonia against Estonia and Finland.

They are still looking into playing Latvia and a few other European teams.

Gilas will look for potential adjustments or pocket tournaments in the area after they return to their home nation.

Reyes continued, noting that the situation has become clearer following the World Cup draw last week. Hoping that there will be a pocket tournament close by in Asia and there are teams lined up as well, he said.

The Philippines was placed in Group A at last week’s events together with Italy, the Dominican Republic, and Angola.

Chot Reyes was not only interested in knowing the Gilas Pilipinas’ group rivals for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup, but he was also curious about the placement of the other Asian teams after the draw event on Saturday.

The Coach claimed that because the Basketball World Cup acts as a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics, that thought also crossed his mind during the draw. Paris will host the World Cup match between the best Asian team.

Reyes acknowledged, however, that the competition for an Olympic spot has grown more difficult in light of the other Asian teams’ groupings, noting China and Iran in particular.

While Iran is in Group G with Spain, Brazil, and Cote D’Ivoire, China is in Group B with Serbia, Puerto Rico, and South Sudan. Reyes thinks that both clubs are capable of winning.

Reyes responded, extremely, very difficult. When pressed about the team’s prospects of competing in the Olympics given the placement of the Asian teams. 

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