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Dalph Panopio says Gilas Youth World Cup campaign will not be easy

by Reynald Magallon, May 10, 2019 6:05pm

Batang Gilas Fil-Italian guard Dalph Panopio believes Gilas Pilipinas Youth will have their hands full in the coming U-19 FIBA World Cup in Heraklion, Greece set on June 29 to July 7.

"It's not easy," said Panopio in a short chat with Courtside Philippines on Friday.

The Gilas Pilipinas Youth is bracketed with world powerhouses Russia (19), Greece (15), and Argentina (9) in the group stages of the World Cup.

"We need to work a lot to play like a team because I think this is one of our court problems," the 6'1" guard said," he added.

With the appointment of former Gilas mentor Tab Baldwin as program director and Coach Sandy Arespacochaga as Gilas Pilipinas youth head coach, Panopio is hopeful that the Batang Gilas can address their problems on the court if they want to get a shot at beating elite teams.

Panopio who is still recovering from a left-ankle sprain he sustained two months ago assured that he'll be ready to join the young Gilas squad in their preparations for the World Meet. He is expected to join Batang Gilas' training and pocket tournaments in Doha next month. 

"Now I finished my rehab part so I'm already shooting and running," explained Panopio who averaged 7.3 points, four rebounds and four assists in the FIBA U-18 Asian Championships.

Panopio is expected to provide a steady back-court presence for Gilas youth that will also boast its twin towers in NCAA Division 1 forward AJ Edu and 7'2" center Kai Sotto. The twin-towers are expected to arrive in the country in June to join the World Cup preparations.

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