MVP Invitational Tourney: Gilas tests Chinese in opener
- Joey Villar () - June 16, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Smart Gilas Pilipinas will size up a dangerous Donguan squad of the Chinese Basketball Association at the start of the 2010 MVP Invitational Championship slated June 24-27 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Nationals, who are preparing for the Guangzhou Asian Games this November and the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championship, clash with the Chinese Club in the main game at 7 p.m. or right after the 6:30 p.m. inaugurals.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan, whose tournament was being staged in his honor, will grace the opener with no less than newly elected President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III invited as special guest.

Also part of the guest list are Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping and Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.

SBP executive director Noli Eala said the four-day, five-team pocket tournament is being done to give Smart Gilas added exposure as it seeks to toughen up for the Guangzhou Games.

“The MVP Invitational is part of our commitment to help Smart Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the Asian Games this year and the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championship where we hope to qualify in the 2012 London Olympics,” he said.

Smart Gilas’ Serbian coach Rajko Toroman said the event is the best way to gauge how the team has developed as well as re-introduce the brand of play he is espousing to all the basketball-loving Filipinos.

“This tournament is important for us because we want to introduce the team to the basketball-loving Filipinos and this is a good opportunity for us to see what we are as a team,” he said.

Toroman said 6-10 American Marcus Douthit, a veteran in the European circuit, will reinforce the team in the event.

Barangay Ginebra and the Jordanian national team open things up as the two collide at 4:30 p.m.

Talk N’ Text, the other PBA team seeing action here, will take the stage the next day against Donguan at 5 p.m. while Smart Gilas and Jordan collide at 7 p.m.

On June 26, Smart Gilas tackles Ginebra at 5 p.m. while Jordan plays Donguan at 7 p.m.

The top two teams after the elimination round will play in a one-game title showdown on June 27.

AMERICAN MARCUS DOUTHIT ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP ASIAN GAMES BARANGAY GINEBRA AND THE JORDANIAN CHINESE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION CHINESE CLUB COJUANGCO JR. DONGUAN GUANGZHOU ASIAN GAMES SMART GILAS SMART GILAS PILIPINAS
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