The Adelaide 36ers have accepted an invitation to take on the Philippines national team as part of their Goodwill Games in Manila in late August.
The Sixers will play against the Philippines on August 23 and 25 on a closed court in front of VIP guests only.
It will be the club’s second international trip for their 2019 pre-season campaign, with the Sixers returning to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Jazz again on October 5.
With five fresh faces in the Sixers’ line up, Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright said the trip is a great chance for the team to bond and refine their game-plan.
“The purpose of all our pre-season trips is to bring the team together and practice some new techniques we may use and roll out this year.
“So, it’s all about bringing the team together. Anytime you’re flying internationally, you’re in an area where people don’t know each other, players can’t use their phones as much, so they typically come together,” Wright said.
It’s true… Manila bound. ? ??
We’ll be taking on the Philippines national team, as part of their Goodwill Games later this month.
— Adelaide 36ers (@Adelaide36ers) August 3, 2019
While the Sixers’ pre-season trip marks the first time an Australian team has played in the Philippines since the controversial FIBA World Cup Qualifiers last year, Wright is adamant his team is safe.
“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.
“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.
“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,” Wright said.
NBL Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Loeliger confirmed the club and league have exercised their due diligence to ensure the team’s safety, including sending a security guard with the team.
“We commend Adelaide for playing a pre-season game against the Philippines. We think it’s a tremendous initiative and we’ve worked with the club to ensure the welfare of players and staff participating in the game,” he said.