Loss to Italy fails to put a dent in Angola’s spirit

Bruno Fernando finishes as the second player in twin digits for Angola with 13 points. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Bruno Fernando finishes as the second player in twin digits for Angola with 13 points. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

BOCAUE—Angola gave it all it had in losing to Italy at the start of the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup Friday night, but star guard Childe Dundão believes that they are still in the right frame of mind entering a crucial match against Gilas Pilipinas in less than 48 hours.

“We need to work hard because another game is in front of us,” Dundão, who scored 19 points in an 81-67 loss to the world No. 10 Italians, said, referring to their Sunday clash against the Filipinos and their boisterous home crowd set at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We lost and we feel bad,” Dundão said.

Ranked 41st, the Black Antelopes looked poised for an upset, only for the Italians led by Simone Fontecchio and Stefano Tonut to finish them off with a flourish.

Fontecchio, a mainstay of the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, scattered 19 points built on 7-foot-8 shooting from the two-point zone, while Tonut supported him with 18 as the Italians wasted no time in taking the lead in the group they are expected to top.

If at all, that setback was enough to keep Angola on its toes and make sure that it comes into the Sunday match against the Filipinos without misplaced confidence and their spirits intact.

“We’re confident because we had a good game today and we’ll try to compete again (against) the Philippines,” he said.

Bruno Fernando, a big man who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, finished with 13 points and five rebounds and could very well help Dundão in that task.

Gilas is set to open its campaign against the Dominican Republic at press time, had openly said that Angola is one of its targets here as the Filipinos try to shock the world by getting out of group play and automatically making it to the Paris Olympics next year. INQ

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