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Gilas to join pocket tourney in Spain ahead of FIBA WC

Gilas Pilipinas will return to Spain for a pocket tournament. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Gilas Pilipinas has scrapped off plans of holding a training camp in Russia for the FIBA World Cup.

Instead, according to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio, Gilas will play in a pocket tournament in Spain.

"[The Russian training camp] fell through since its just one game that they were committing to," Panlilio, Meralco's governor, aired the reason behind the cancellation of the Russian trip during a press conference after the PBA board meeting at the league office in Quezon City on Thursday.

He added, "Sabi namin, 'It's gonna be too painful to go all the way to Russia just for one game."

The SBP initially asked for a two-game friendly series with the Russian national team.

On who Gilas will face in the pocket tourney, Panlilio said, "If I recall, Ivory Coast and Spain" while baring later in the day that Congo is also joining.

He then said that the SBP is also pleading to the Spanish Basketball Federation for some more tune-up games before the pocket tourney.

Regarding the start of the national team practice, Panlilio said, "Coach Yeng [Guiao] wants to start the twice-a-week practice by June 13."

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