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US 5 in town for World Cup; 2k cops to secure tilt

TEAM USA ARRIVES. Players and coaches of Team USA for the FIBA Basketball World Cup hosted by the Philippines arrive Tuesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Pictured are head coach Steve Kerr, assistant coaches Eric Spoelstra and Tyronn Lue, shooting coach Chip Engelland, team manager Grant Hill, and players Brandon Ingram, Mikal Bridges, and Josh Hart. MIAA/FIBA Photos

The United States men’s national team, led by several young National Basketball Association stars, arrived in Manila on Tuesday morning for their campaign in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, which the country is hosting starting Friday.

The Americans are looking to bounce back from a disappointing seventh-place campaign in the 2019 edition.

The powerhouse squad is in Group C along with Jordan, Greece, and New Zealand, and will open their campaign on August 26 against the Tall Blacks at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office is sending a total of 2,225 policemen to secure the country’s hosting of the World Cup from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10.

NCRPO director Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez formed the Site Task Group (STG) Metro Manila, which will be responsible for security operations and public-related safety services.

“These men will ensure the safety and protection of international and famous basketball athletes,” he said.

Also, the renowned Naismith Trophy of the FIBA World Cup is now in Ilocos Norte as part of a nationwide tour, before becoming the sought-after prize among 32 teams competing in the highly anticipated edition of the tournament.

WELCOMING FIBA. Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez exchanges pleasantries with FIBA President Hamane Niang during the FIBA Central Board Welcome Dinner at the Bureau of Treasury Building in Intramuros, Manila on Monday evening. Looking on are businessman and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan and PLDT Chief Executive Officer Alfredo Panlilio (center).

With Filipino GILAS ambassador and PBA legend Arwind Santos, along with Cignal Representative James de Costa, the Naismith Trophy arrived in the province yesterday.

It will be showcased at popular Ilocos Norte spots like the Burgos Wind Farm, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes.

Currently ranked second in the world, the United States named a relatively inexperienced roster to the FIBA World Cup, with Josh Hart and Bobby Partis as their oldest members at just 28 years old.

Also included in their 12-man lineup are Cam Johnson, Walker Kessler, Austin Reaves, Tyrese Haliburton, Brandon Ingram, Jaren Jackson Jr., Paolo Banchero, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, and Anthony Edwards.

They wrapped up their preparations for the World Cup by rallying past Germany in an exhibition, 99-91, with Edwards putting up 34 points.

Filipino-American coach Erik Spoelstra is part of Team USA’s coaching staff led by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

Already in Manila are the national teams of Montenegro, Angola, Mexico, Egypt, the Dominican Republic, and Greece. Still expected to arrive on Tuesday are Puerto Rico, Italy, Serbia, and New Zealand. Joel Zurbano

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