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Philippines to tune up on 36ers

THE Adelaide 36ers will add to their international experience next month by taking on the controversial Philippines national side in Manila as part of the volatile home team's preparation for its 2019 FIBA World Cup campiagn.

The Sixers, who played preseason games in Singapore in 2017 and in Utah last year, will head back to Salt Lake City to again play the NBA's Jazz on October 5.

But before that they will meet the Philippines in Manila on August 23 and August 25, meaning Adelaide's finest will be off-shore while the Boomers battle the USA at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium on August 22 and 24.

For Adelaide, the trip will represent a great opportunity for the 36ers' new-look team to bond as a group and maybe find its new identity sooner, rather than later.

For the Philippines, which regularly entertained West Adelaide Bearcats teams even before the NBL began, the series will represent a chance to show the world their "happy face" to help start the healing from their appalling behaviour of a year ago.

That was when the infamous assault by the Filipinos on the Australian Boomers occurred, with the entire Philippines bench and coaches involved in the attack which mostly targeted Chris Goulding, Nathan Sobey and Daniel Kickert.

FIBA dished out sanctions against 13 players from both teams, two Filipino coaches and the match referees but it was still a typically weak reaction from the global body.

Sanctioned Filipino players such as Roger Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Jeth Rosario and Andray Blatche are all in the Philippines' World Cup squad which, realistically, should have been stripped of its right to compete at the sport's biggest tournament.

Nonetheless, what should have happened didn't and it is time to move on, with the 36ers the first Australians to compete in basketball-mad Manila since the wild melee.

Sixers swingman Anthony Drmic was a member of that Boomers team but Daniel Johnson had not yet been called up, and Sobey since has left the club to pursue his career with Brisbane Bullets.

Adelaide is expected to take its full complement of players with the club to make a formal announcement soon.

FAMILIAR FACE: Anthony Drmic is the only 36er who was at the infamous 'melee in Manila'.

Jul 16

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