Duterte to watch Gilas' FIBA World Cup game vs Italy in China

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Duterte to watch Gilas' FIBA World Cup game vs Italy in China
President Duterte prepares to toss the ball during the 2016 FIBA Olympic men’s qualifying basketball tournament between the Philippines and France at the MOA Arena on July 5, 2016.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will personally cheer for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

Duterte will be watching the cagers' game against Italy on August 31 as part of his visit to the country from August 28 to September 1.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the President may also meet the players prior to their World Cup opener against the Italians.

"That's something that we're working on but what's definite is the President of course wants to support Team Philippines," Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said during a briefing on Friday.

Earlier this month, the President made comments that Gilas Pilipinas will surely lose to Italy due to their height disadvantage.

The DFA also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has tasked Vice President Wang Qishan to accompany Duterte to the cagefest.

Prior to watching the game between Gilas and Italy, the Chinese VP will hold a courtesy call with Duterte. 

Watch the full DFA briefing below:

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