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ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne postpones friendly series vs. PBA teams

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne has decided to put on hold its scheduled Philippine tour next week, wherein the Tony Parker-owned team was supposed to play PBA teams Blackwater and NLEX as well as EASL squad Bay Area.

According to the French Embassy, the decision of Gilas Pilipinas to beg off from playing them factored in the reigning LNB Pro A champion's own decision to postpone its supposed trip to the Philippines.

"The friendly game between French team LDLC ASVEL and Philippine men’s national basketball team Gilas has been postponed to a later date as Gilas Pilipinas could not be available on the initially scheduled date (August 28 to September 4)," the French Embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.

Gilas was scheduled to play ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in the final night of the French club's Philippine tour on Sept. 4, but NLEX stepped in when the national team declined from playing.

The ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne games were supposed to serve as appetizers to Games 5-7 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals or could even be a standalone event if TNT, which is playing San Miguel in Game 2 of the championship series as of posting, manages to sweep the best-of-seven affair.

To make up for the postponement, the French Embassy said that the ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne's management team plans to come to the Philippines to strike some agreements, including putting a basketball academy in the mold of Parker's own school.

"In order to schedule a new date in the very tight schedule of both teams, the LDLC ASVEL management plans to visit Manila soon to further establish partnerships and promote the exchange of knowledge and skills. The establishment of a basketball academy in the Philippines, inspired by the Tony Parker Adéquat Academy, will also be at the heart of future exchanges," the French Embassy further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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