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Gilas Pilipinas kicks off 2015 Fiba Asia bid against Palestine

09:19 PM August 14, 2015

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The Philippines will open its campaign in the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship in Changsa, Hunan, China against Palestine on Sept. 23.

The game is scheduled at 11:45 a.m. at CSWC Dayun court. Palestine is making its first ever appearance in the Asian meet.

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READ: Gilas making progress, but time not on its side

Gilas Pilipinas then, takes on Hong Kong the following day at 9:30 a.m. before ending the preliminary round against Kuwait at 4:45 p.m. also at the same venue.

The Philippines, which aims to get the lone Olympic berth in the tournament, is expected to breeze through the first stage of the competition after being drawn in the easiest group.

READ: Blatche held out of Gilas practice due to injury

The Nationals are in the middle of their buildup and part of their preparations is playing three exhibition games in Europe against Estonia, Netherlands and Iceland some time next week.

Head coach Tab Baldwin is convinced that the trip will serve as a good preparation for the team.

“Estonia is a step down from Lithuania but they’re a tough team. Iceland is improving but they’ve been on the outside of European competitions over the last 15 to 20 years and Netherlands isn’t bad. They’re big usually and they get good regular competition in the second division of Europe,” Baldwin said of the kind of competition Gilas will be facing during its Euro trip.

“So there’s some quality there to play against and it won’t be easy. Obviously, it’s a very long trip and we’ll be turning around and coming right back afterwards but I just feel we’re fortunate to go and get these games and it will be good preparation for us,” Baldwin added.

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