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Dellavedova looks forward to facing Gilas in FIBA WCQ

Four-year NBA pro Matthew Dellavedova of the Milwaukee Bucks has been in the Philippines to promote his first signature shoe for Chinese brand Peak. But on Saturday night, the Australian was part of the audience during the PBA’s double-header that saw NLEX win its second outing of the conference against KIA and Phoenix send Alaska to its tenth straight loss.

“It’s been a lot of fun so far, seeing as how you guys are passionate about basketball. You made me and my wife welcome and it’s been a lot of fun,” the 6-foot-4 combo guard shared.

Dellavedova, who has been called as a “dirty player” by some pundits, admitted the the PBA is a lot more physical compared to the NBA. Moreover, the one-time NBA champion shared that the PBA almost has the same level of physicality like in Australia.

“I think it’s a lot more physical here than the NBA.

“I think I play hard but sometimes the NBA is not into the physical side compared to the international game where you have to fight through screens when I play for the Australian team. Growing up in Australia, it was always physical and that’s how I play,” furthered Dellavedova, who went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Dellavedova though will get to experience the physicality of Philippine basketball first hand when the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers roll around as Gilas and the Boomers are pooled together in Group B of the tourney. And the 26-year old is looking forward to the challenge the home-and-away format brings and the prospect of facing Gilas.

“I think it’s July [2] of next year, I’ll be coming back here.

“It’s [home-and-away] going to provide new challenges to our coaches because I think we [Australian NBA players] won’t be available for two windows. It’s going to be interesting how it works out but I’m looking forward to it,” he shared.

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And Dellavedova himself has done his homework on Gilas.

“I’ve played once before against the Philippines and they were pushing the game, a lot of dribble penetration and driving and kicking out to three-point shots. We need to really study the scouting report and be able to defend one-on-one to try to keep drives out of the paint and kick out to open threes,” he said.

Gilas will face Dellavedova and the Australia Boomers on February 22 in Australia and July 2 in Manila.

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