For Gilas Pilipinas men head coach Yeng Guiao, the upcoming two-game series against Australian club team Adelaide 36ers gives a chance to “erase” old memories and replace them with better ones.
“I thought (the tune-ups) would be good for Philippine basketball as we wanted to erase some of the memories of the past and repalce them with good memories,” said Guiao per the PBA official website.
Initially, Gilas wanted to arrange friendlies with the Australian national team itself, but the schedules won’t match, according to Guiao.
Australia is also scheduled to face the United States in a two-game exhibition series in their home turf.
36ers head coach Joey Wright, who once played as an import in the PBA, said there would be no repeats of the infamous brawl of 2018 between the Philippines and Australia’s national teams during the Asian Qualifiers of the FIBA World Cup.
“We wanted to come back here and play and show people that it was just one incident and we can come back here and play, and we’ll be okay,” said Wright.
“Nothing like that will happen,” he added.
Guiao expects a tough challenge from Adelaide, which is a four-time champion in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL).
“We know they play high-quality basketball,” said Guiao. “That’s why we also wanted to play them because we understand that this is going to be a big help to our preparation.”