Gilas Pilipinas plays a warm-up game ahead of its departure for Hangzhou, China, taking on Korean club Changwon LG Sakers at 4 p.m. on Friday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
“They’re a very, very strong team and they’ll bring a couple of imports, so they’ll be a really good test,” said coach Tim Cone of their tune-up match versus the Korean team reinforced Americans Dante Cunningham and Reggie Perry, Egyptian Assem Marei and Filipino player Justin Gutang.
The game is open to the public, and Cone is inviting the Gilas supporters to come and be behind the team all the way to the Asian Games competition in Hangzhou where Team Philippines tackles Bahrain, Thailand and Jordan in group play.
“We hope that we can fill the stadium up,” said Cone of their lone tune-up game before embarking on their journey.
Gilas was supposed to face Meralco last Tuesday at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna but the uncertainties on the status of Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, Terrence Romeo and Mo Tautuaa forced the cancellation of that friendly.
At posting time, the team still awaits final words from the Asiad organizers whether the quartet will be allowed in. Otherwise, Chris Ross, Kevin Alas, Arvin Tolentino and CJ Perez will be the ones to team up with June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Calvin Oftana, Chris Newsome, Justin Brownlee, Ange Kouame and Marcio Lassiter.
The Nationals set out for the friendly versus the Sakers coming from their training at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.