Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Sonny Barrios said that the SBP is preparing a formidable Gilas Pilipinas national team for the FIBA World Cup Championship on August 30 to September 14 in Madrid, Spain.
“MVP [Manny V. Pangilinan] told the whole team he don’t want them to be tourists in Spain. He, just like all of us will be disappointed if we lose all five games [in the eliminations]. The target is to win at least two games and move to the next round,” Barrios said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association weekly forum on Tuesday.
“It’s a high target but depends on the grouping that we’re landing. You can only imagine if we are bracketed with the United States,” Barrios added.
Gilas Pilipinas earned a FIBA World Cup berth after finishing second in the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship in August 2013.
The last time the Philippines saw action in the World Cup was in 1978 when it hosted the event.
In 1986, the Philippines also qualified for the meet but wasn’t able to compete because of the Edsa Revolution.
Although entering the FIBA World Cup semifinals is a tough task, Barrios said he couldn’t allow the players to think that they don’t have a chance.
“We cannot go there thinking nothing will happen,” he said. “The pessimists are saying it’s a waste because nothing will happen but that’s not the right attitude.”
Chot Reyes, head coach of Gilas Pilipinas, will fly to Spain for the World Cup draw on February 3.