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Gilas beg off vs French club

Gilas Pilipinas formally decided to back out from its scheduled exhibition match with French powerhouse ASVEL-Lyon later this month.

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial told Daily Tribune that the national team withdrew its participation in a series of friendly matches with the visiting team set from 29 August to 4 September.

Conflict of schedule was a concern as Gilas will be competing in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers from 25 to 29 August.

“It’s unlikely that Gilas will still join. I think they cannot join since they might be abroad during that time,” Marcial said.

ASVEL-Lyon, a top-tier European club owned by former National Basketball Association star and French national team captain Tony Parker, was initially set to play three matches against Gilas, Blackwater and another visiting team in Bay Area Dragons.

ASVEL-Lyon is considered as one of the world’s best and most decorated professional teams with 21 titles since joining the French Pro A League in 1948 and 10 French Basketball Cup crowns.

With Gilas out, ASVEL-Lyon is tipped to face another PBA club in NLEX to complete its three-game road trip that aims to prepare it for the French Pro A on 25 September.

Previous reports have it that Parker and team president Gaetan Muller will lead the perennial Euroleague title contender in its arrival on the 28th.

Bannered by French national team star Nando de Colo, Asvel will also feature other international campaigners like Joffrey Lauvergne, Yves Pons and Parker Jackson.

Bossing team owner Dioceldo Sy is set to preside a press briefing to discuss more about the friendly matches on Wednesday.

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