After their back-to-back win against Indonesia and South Korea, Gilas Pilipinas will battle it out against China before heading out to the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in Indonesia and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Serbia.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said he plans to do more training in Clark, Pampanga before heading out of the country for international games. 

The 63-year-old mentioned that he’s eyeing China as a potential practice partner for the young Gilas team. 

“Our plans before that are to have some practices here in the Philippines before we fly out,” said Baldwin after winning their second game against S. Korea on Sunday. 

“And we’re very hopeful that we might get a practice game against China, who is also staying here before they go to Canada for more preparations for themselves,” he added. 

Like the Philippines, China also swept all of their games for the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. The team will be staying in the country for a while before heading to Victoria, Canada to compete in another OQT where they will battle the hosts and Greece.

Baldwin said the Gilas team will benefit greatly from practice games with China, who’s considered an elite when it comes to basketball placing number 29 in the world and fourth in the Asia region. 

“Every game that we can get for these young men is extremely important. It will help us prepare since China is an elite basketball team. That will be great for us,” he said. 

According to the Chinese team’s Head Coach Du Feng, he believes the tune-up games will be of mutual benefit for his players and Gilas. 

“For this Asia Cup qualifiers, the Philippine team actually had good games, and I think the games which we will play against them will be good experience for us before we play our opponents against Canada and Greece,” Feng said through a translator. 

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Image credit: Gilas Pilipinas’ Official Facebook Page