Guadalajara, SPAIN -- With the FIBA World Cup fast approaching, Yeng Guiao is hoping Gilas Pilipinas can get quickly accustomed to competing against high-caliber teams.
"There is a different flavor in the international game," Guiao said. "Even if a lot of these guys have played international games before, it's important that you are immersed in it."
The team will take on the national teams of Congo and Ivory Coast in Guadalajara in friendlies behind closed doors. The three teams will move then travel to Malaga on Friday for a pocket tournament along with the Spanish national team.
Gilas faces a daunting task against all of those teams, given the physical disadvantage, but Guiao wants to see how the players react to a different type of competition.
"How the game flows, how they are able to cope up with the competition despite we know that these guys will be bigger, heavier, more athletic than the PBA players in general, which they have been used to playing," Guiao said.
Ivory Coast and Spain are World Cup-bound squads, while Congo missed out after finishing fourth in their group during the African qualifiers. Congo, though, went 1-1 against Gilas' World Cup group mate Angola during that tournament.
Guiao hopes the upcoming exhibition games can give Gilas a taste of what's to come in China.
"This is the purpose why we asked, requested a tune-up of this caliber," Guaio explained. "So that we can more or less approximate the actual competition in the World Cup."
The Philippines takes on Congo on Tuesday evening, then plays Ivory Coast on Thursday, before all three teams travel to Malaga on Friday morning.