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Angolans vie in Japan friendlies

Angola’s preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup shifts to higher gear with a stint in the SoftBank Cup in Japan.

The Angolans are set to battle powerhouse squads in world No. 3 Australia, fifth ranked France, No. 7 Slovenia and Japan in their final tune-up tournament before heading to Manila for the 25 August to 10 September World Cup.

World No. 41 Angola lost to the Japanese, 68-72, over the weekend in a separate tune-up match.

In the SoftBank Cup, the Angolans will get valuable experience playing the Aussies bannered by National Basketball Association stars Josh Giddy and Patty Mills.

They will also take on the French team led by Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Nicholas Batum of the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic-led Slovenia.

Doncic, who sat out the Slovenians’ games against the United States and host Spain over the weekend, is expected to suit up in the tourney to warm up for the World Cup.

The Angolans sporting Atlanta Hawks big man Bruno Fernando, are coming off a listless campaign in the King’s Cup earlier this month losing to host Jordan, Mexico and Portugal.

Angola is in Group A in the World Cup along with Gilas Pilipinas Dominican Republic and world No. 10 Italy.

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