Serbia, Italy, Angola and the Philippines are in the same bracket with the top two finishers of the single round-robin format moving up to the second phase while the last two are relegated to a classification series.
FIBA.com
Beware of Angola!
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will play Angola on the last day of the FIBA World Cup Group D eliminations at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center, China and the result may decide if Gilas will advance to the second round depending on the outcome of a previous game against Italy.

Serbia, Italy, Angola and the Philippines are in the same bracket with the top two finishers of the single round-robin format moving up to the second phase while the last two are relegated to a classification series. The Philippines battles Italy on Aug. 31, Serbia on Sept. 2 and Angola on Sept. 4.

It will be the first game between Gilas and Angola since a 2014 FIBA World Cup tune-up where the Philippines lost, 83-74, in San Sebastian, Spain despite Andray Blatche’s 33 points and 17 rebounds. Blatche, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, JuneMar Fajardo and Beau Belga saw action in the friendly and are now in Gilas coach Yeng Guiao’s 19-man pool preparing for China. Point guard Olimpio Cipriano, who played for the Detroit Pistons in the 2007 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, fired 29 points for Angola while naturalized import Reggie Moore of Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma hit 14. Yanick Moreira, a Russian league import from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, chipped in nine.

Angola, an 11-time African champion from 1989 to 2013, is deep in training for the coming World Cup. Coach Will Voigt’s squad recently participated in the Kunshan four-nation tournament in China, losing to the home team 73-62 and Puerto Rico, 66-64 then rebounding to crush Croatia, 93-73, behind Cipriano’s 24 points. Angola will finish a three-game series with the Chinese club Liaoning Flying Leopards featuring NBA veterans Lance Stephenson and Brandon Bass tonight.

Angola is set to participate in another pocket tournament, this time in Incheon, on Aug. 24-27 with the Czech Republic, Lithuania and South Korea. Voigt, 43, was the coach of the Nigerian team at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the former Los Angeles Clippers intern and San Antonio Spurs video coordinator later moved to Angola to secure the World Cup ticket. He was valedictorian at Cabot High School in Vermont in 1994 before enrolling at Pomona College in California to earn a political science degree.

Five of Angola’s current 12-man cast played at the 2014 World Cup – 6-4 Cipriano, 6-6 Moore, 6-10 Moreira, 6-10 Valdelicio (Vander) Joaquim and 6-8 Eduardo Mingas. Moreira was instrumental in Angola’s 91-83 upset win over Australia with 38 points and 15 rebounds. The others in the squad are two-time World Cupper 6-3 Carlos Morais who missed the Spain joust due to injury, 6-7 Hermenigildo Mbunga, 6-4 Jerson Goncalvez, 5-10 Gerson Domingos, 6-3 Jacques Conceicao and 6-6 Jose Antonio.  The team has an average height of 6-5 and age of 31 with Mingas, playing in his fifth World Cup, the oldest at 40. Moore, 38 and Cipriano, 37 are the team’s other seniors.

“I expect our guys to play hard, play together and compete for 40 minutes,” said Voigt. “As long as we do that, the results will take care of themselves.” Angola’s goal in China is to become the highest African finisher to qualify for an automatic slot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

FIBA WORLD CUP GROUP D
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