Philippines shorthanded ahead of FIBA World Cup training camp

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-03 22:06:45|Editor: ZX
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MANILA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines national men's basketball team will leave for Spain on Sunday for a brief training camp with nearly half of the 19-man squad absent.

Only 11 players, including former NBA and CBA player Andray Blatche, will join the camp led by coach Yeng Guiao and his staff.

Several players are absent as they are involved in the finals of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner's Cup.

While their respective PBA teams had been both eliminated from the Cup, neither Raymond Almazan nor Stanley Pringle will travel to Spain owing to personal issues.

Guiao also expressed doubt that Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson, who was included in the pool as a backup for Blatche, would make an appearance in Spain.

The national team will travel to the city of Guadalajara to play against Congo and Cote d'Ivoire in back-to-back practice matches, according to Guiao.

The team will then head to Malaga to face Congo again, this time in a mini-tournament, with the winner facing the victor between Cote d'Ivoire and European powerhouses Spain.

Despite the challenges the national team is facing in its buildup to the World Cup, Guiao said his side are adjusting to what the schedule permits.

"This is an important stage for our preparation. This is a time where we can really focus 100 percent on what we need to do, on the system that we're trying to set up," he said, adding that it is a good competition to measure themselves to see if they are ready.

The Filipinos will be in Spain until mid-August before they return home to iron out their final preparations for the FIBA World Cup, which will be held in China from August 31.