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Italian dribblers keep unbeaten record

(Photo from Italian Basketball Federation)

Italy sets foot in Manila on Tuesday for the FIBA World Cup unbeaten in seven tuneup games played across Europe and China.

Before leaving Shenzhen, the Italians downed New Zealand, 88-81, in the Solidarity Cup on Monday when the two-time Olympic silver medalist also beat Brazil, 93-87, last Sunday.

During their training camp in Folgara, Italy, they also defeated Turkey, China, Serbia, and Greece in the Acropolis Cup in Athens.

Prior to departing for Asia, Italy also whipped Puerto Rico.

Italy is the top team in Group A which also includes host Philippines, Dominican Republic, and Angola.

Despite winning all their friendlies, Italy head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco swears anything can happen during the World Cup.

“The first thing we understood is that we can lose against everyone. I’ve talked to players about it and this can happen to us and anyone else,” said Pozzecco, who assembled a cast of 25 players in the mountains of Northern Italy for pre-conditioning starting in the third week of July.

Italy makes its debut against Angola at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, before the main event starring Gilas Pilipinas and the Dominican Republic at 8:00 p.m. at the Philippine Arena.

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