MANILA, Philippines—Tough as Group A may be, the Dominican Republic is adamant in focusing on one task at a time.
The Dominicans are purely thinking of Gilas Pilipinas at the moment as they square off on the first day of the 2023 Fiba World Cup at Philippine Arena.
“Well, we go at it step by step. Even in our exhibition games, we play thinking that our first important game is against the Philippines,” coach Nèstor Garcia said in a team introductory press conference at Araneta Coliseum on Thursday.
“We don’t think about Italy or Angola right now, really. We focus on our first game because it’s the beginning, it’s very important.”
After battling the home team, though, Dominican Republic will need to immediately go back to the drawing board to prepare for world No.11 Italy and Angola.
After all, the veteran tactician believes that one day is equivalent to one shot in the global competition.
“These kinds of tournaments for one day is like one shot. For us, we are focusing only Philippines [now.]”
The Karl-Anthony Towns-led Dominican Republic will put that focus to the test tomorrow when they face the Filipinos in a potentially loud and raucous crowd in Bulacan.
While Garcia has emphasized that he’s not focused on Italy and Angola, both teams will play the prelude game before their clash with the Philippines at the same venue at 4pm.
Over at Mall of Asia Arena, Mexico and Montenegro open the day with Egypt and Lithuania playing the nightcap.
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