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Pro teams thrilled to face Asvel Lyon

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams are thrilled to see action when it battles with Asvel Lyon in the France-Philippines Basketball Exhibition Series later this month.

Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy, NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao, and guest team Bay Area Dragons general manager Quangsheng Liu believe that facing a rock-solid team like Lyon will help them prepare for the opening of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup in October.

Sy said their upcoming exhibition match will provide a big help on improving their game as local teams try to expand their arsenal.

Asvel, a French powerhouse club owned by San Antonio Spurs great Tony Parker, will battle the Dragons on 31 August, followed by a match with the Road Warriors and the Bossing on 2 and 4 September at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“With Asvel here, I believe it will totally change the paradigm of basketball. We’re looking forward to the adjustments of our play,” Sy said in a press conference at Novotel Manila yesterday.

“Asvel is a big challenge for us. Knowing that Bay Area Dragons will also join, it will be a very good training ground for every PBA team.”

The exhibition matches were planned by the PBA leadership and the French Embassy to the Philippines in April.

Gilas Pilipinas was initially pitted to join the event but made a last-minute withdrawal due to its upcoming stint in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers from 25 to 29 August.

Still, Guiao sees a tough challenge that will be very important for their mid-season campaign.

“It’s not a regular scrimmage, we have to prepare for it like a real game. It’s an opportunity for us to learn. It’s one way to learn playing against a team with that kind of size,” Guiao said.

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