MANILA, Philippines – Filipino basketball fans may be expecting a high-scoring, highlight-filled game when Gilas Pilipinas plays some NBA All-Stars in a charity game in late July, but point guard LA Tenorio said the national team will take the contest seriously.
"It's not gonna be an All-Star Game for us, for sure," said Tenorio. "It's gonna be serious. Sa kanila siguro, but for us, seryoso kami kasi that's part of our training. That's part of our preparation for upcoming tournaments."
NBA All-Stars Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan and Paul Pierce will be in the country from July 22 to 23 to play Gilas in a charity game, dubbed "Gilas Last Home Stand," at the Araneta Coliseum.
The event is geared towards helping the national team prepare for their stint in the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Tenorio believes the charity game will be of great help to them, especially in terms of preparing them for the level of competition in the World Cup.
"This will really help us for sure, to prepare us and give us experience in playing with the big guys, the tall guys, and the big stars," said the Ginebra point guard.
The game may also be the last time that Filipino fans will see Gilas Pilipinas play in the country.
"'Yun nga, parang sa huling pagkakataon, makita ng mga Pilipino kamimag-compete, makita nila kung paano na 'yung team namin," said Tenorio.
"I think that's a teaser para sa mga Pilipino, na kung paano kami maglalaro sa game," he added.
Tickets are now available at the Araneta Coliseum ticket booth and Ticketnet outlets. -- With a report by TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News