The men’s national basketball team of the Dominican Republic arrived in the Philippines on Monday night. The group’s energy was immediately felt by the FIBA World Cup host nation. Why so, you may ask?
For one, the Carribean squad and Gilas Pilipinas will clash on opening day. Second, the Philippine contingent is targeting to get two wins in the group phase, one of which, the hosts believe, should happen when they face the Dominicans. And third, Dominican Republic features one of the NBA’s best players today in Karl-Anthony Towns.
The three-time NBA All-Star sent a message to Filipino hoop fans as soon as his crew landed in Manila.
“To my Filipino fans thank you for all the support I see all the tweets you guys have done for me over the years. I’m so happy to be here. I always told everyone, all my Filipino fans, that I will be here next year, and this is that year,” KAT told Ian Suyu of News5.
It sounds like the Minnesota Timberwolves star is excited to put on a show in front of the Filipino-dominated crowd. If that really is the case, Gilas will definitely have its hands full during the curtain-raiser. Just recently, Dominican Republic defeated highly touted Canada in a tune-up, 94-88. KAT posted 20 points, 6 boards, and 2 assists.
On the other side of the fence, beating the Dominican ballers, led by the highly motivated big man, will be much sweeter, not only for Gilas but for the entire nation. These two countries will go at it on August 25 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.