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Italians boost World Cup prep

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FIBA NICCOLO Mannion (right) and the Italians are headed for a serious buildup for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup that will be held in Manila set from 25 August to 10 September.

MADRID, Spain — Two-time Olympic silver medalist Italy is coming to Manila for the FIBA Basketball World Cup armed to the teeth.

Grouped with host Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Angola, the Italians will take part in their 11th World Cup fresh from banging bodies with several heavyweight World Cup-bound squads.

With all the teams in the final stages of completing their respective rosters for the 25 August to 10 September Manila worlds, Italy will be competing in three pocket tournaments in the final weeks before the World Cup opening.

First up for Italy is the Trentino Basket Cup on 4 and 5 August where World Cup squads China and Cape Verde had been called to play alongside Turkey.

Cape Verde battles China during the first day while Italy meets Turkey later in the day.

The winners dispute the title and the losers vie for third place the following day.

From the Alpine town, the Italians, rated No. 10 in the world, travel to the Greek capital of Athens for the Aegean Acropolis Tournament from 9 and 10 August.

Italy faces two Manila-bound teams, Nikola Jokic and Serbia and Greece, before the Azzurri head back home for a friendly against Puerto Rico on the 13th in Ravenna.

Then just before Italy touches down in Manila, it will compete in the Solidarity Cup in Shenzhen, China, on 20 and 21 August, clashing with a pair of strong squads in Brazil and New Zealand.

The Italians are scheduled to hold a training camp from 24 July to 2 August in the Alpine resort town of Folgare under Gianmarco Fozzecco.

Gilas Pilipinas, who will be parading naturalized player Jordan Clarkson, are camping out in Laguna, a province just outside Manila, before flying to Eastern Europe for a series of friendlies as well.

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