Villanueva: Adelaide 36ers to play Philippines national team in Manila

The Adelaide 36ers preseason will heat up when they venture to Manila in August to take on the Philippines national team as part of their Goodwill Games, as reported by Eros Villanueva for ESPN5.

The two games will be played on 23 and 25 August, and are considered vital preparation for the Philippines' FIBA World Cup preparations before they head to China.

Adelaide's games in Manila will be the first time an Australian team have played in the country since the now infamous 'basketbrawl' that occurred between the two national teams, during the FIBA World Cup qualifiers a little over 12 months ago. In a contest that was played on 2 July, basketball was ultimately the loser. An incredible 13 players were ejected, with the entire Philippines bench clearing, as players, coaches, officials and spectators engaged in a wild melee.

FIBA’s disciplinary panel imposed sanctions against a total of 13 players across both teams, along with two Filipino coaches and the referees from the game.

Those Filipino players who received sanctions from that incident who are currently part of their World Cup squad include Roger Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Jeth Rosario and Andray Blatche. It is however worth noting that the coaching staff involved in the melee have since been replaced.

Anthony Drmic is the only current Adelaide 36er who was on the Australian Boomers roster that from that fateful night last year, and looks set to be the first player to return to the country to play.

Drmic, who managed to stay out of harm's way during the melee, should not receive any undue attention from the pro-Filipino crowd, and one would expect that the host country will be on their best behaviour with the world looking on.

These preseason games against the Philippines provides the 36ers with another two big outings that will draw a large global audience, following the recent NBLxNBA announcement on them playing the Utah Jazz in the coming NBA preseason. It is another opportunity for the NBL to showcase its teams and players against international quality opposition on the global stage.