Gilas Pilipinas’ upcoming two-game exhibition series against the Australian club Adelaide 36ers later this August will happen behind closed doors, according to a press release by the NBL squad.
The Goodwill Games, which was confirmed last month by Gilas team manager Gabby Cui, is reportedly going to happen on August 23 and 25 without the Filipino fans being able to watch.
“Basketball Australia and the club have ticked all the boxes to make sure it’s a safe trip. I’ve lived in the Philippines and played basketball over there for years and have never had any trouble,” said head coach Joey Wright per the Adelaide 36ers’ release.
“The Philippines have been playing basketball at a high level for 40 years and they’ve had one fight, so I don’t anticipate any issues,” he added.
The tune-up matches serve as a good development for the two countries’ basketball relationship.
Philippines head coach Yeng Guiao had requested for tune-up games against Australia before.
Both sides are preparing for important upcoming tournaments, with Gilas in the FIBA World Cup and the 36ers in the NBL.
“It’s a new coach. I’m very familiar with the coach, he’s a good friend of mine. I think they’ll be on their best behaviour and obviously we will,” said Wright of Guiao.
The Philippines and Australia took part in an infamous brawl last year during the Asian Qualifiers of the FIBA World Cup.
The instance saw 13 players suspended and a hefty amount of fines being slapped on both basketball federations.