Having tuneup matches against foreign squads, which will mimic the strength of teams that Team Philippines will face in the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup, is a must.
National team coach Yeng Guiao revealed, during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel Manila yesterday, that foremost in his mind is playing against the Australia national team.
Tune-up games with Australia will not only help the national squad get in shape and get the needed exposure when the FIBA cagefest comes around; they will also help rebuild the relationship between the two countries following a brawl which marred their World Cup qualifier at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan last year.
Guiao said he is looking forward to having such games as part of their buildup starting on Aug. 31.
“It’s important that we will face five or six teams that will approximate the strength of our opponents,” said Guiao yesterday
Guiao said the national squad has never faced such teams in their previous preparations. Team Pilipinas was only able to face a foreign squad with one or two such imports who approximated the physicality of the games they had.
Guiao added that scrimmages with three European teams will also get Team Philippines in shape in their participation for tournament.
“Gusto namin iyung mga European teams. Malalakas at mabibilis ang mga ito,” added Guiao.
As the games of the FIBA World Cup approach, Guiao said he is looking forward to having twice-a-day practice with Team Philippines.