30/06/2014
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USA - Love takes center stage in the Philippines

Kevin Love (USA). Argentina vs USA. Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympics (men), UK. 06 August 2012. Preliminary Round.

MANILA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Players, coaches, fans and the media in the Philippines are gearing up for the FIBA Basketball World Cup which tips off in just a couple of months in Spain.

A visit to Manila over the weekend by USA big man Kevin Love, has fueled the excitement ahead of this summer's big event.

Love, a gold medal winner at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and the 2012 Olympics in London, travelled to the country to conduct a basketball clinic and also attend the Master Game Face Challenge.

During a press conference, he was asked what advice he would give to Gilas Filipinas before they compete in Group B against Argentina, Puerto Rico, Greece, Senegal and Croatia.

"Soak it up as much as possible," he said.

"It's a chance for you to have a lot of pride and take on different countries while at the same time representing your own and giving your own country a great name.

"Basketball is a beautiful game.

"Just go out there and enjoy it.

"At the end of the day, we're putting a ball through the hoop and it's a lot of fun doing it."

Love had fun and answering all sorts of questions.

When he was asked about which actor he would like to play the part of Kevin Love in a movie, he paused for a few seconds, smiled and responded: "I'd probably say Liam Neeson. Those Taken movies are pretty good. I like him."

The USA are No. 1 in the FIBA Ranking Men and many expect the team to march to the title.

Love says nothing can be taken for granted, though, especially when Spain, Argentina, Turkey, Lithuania, Brazil and Slovenia also have sides in the competition.

"There are a lot of teams that could give us a run for our money," he warned.

"They have players that have not only been in the NBA or play in the NBA but are very good in FIBA basketball overseas."

Love wanted to make it clear to the journalists who were hanging on his every word that the USA Basketball experience has been extremely good for him.

"I've had a great time playing for the USA," he said.

"It's done a lot for my career, USA Basketball has and (USA Basketball supremo) Jerry Colangelo."

If the USA win the World Cup in Spain, they will qualify for the 2016 Summer Games.

Would Love, 25, want to be with the national team in Brazil?

"I plan on playing this year and also in 2016 in Rio for the Olympics again," he said.

"After that, I'll see how my body feels.

"They are definitely long summers.

"At the end of the day, it’s worth it to have a gold medal around your neck and having a chance to represent your country."

Love will be with the USA when they begin training 28 July in Las Vegas.

At the World Cup, the United States will play in Group C against Turkey, Finland, Ukraine, the Dominican Republic and New Zealand.

Those games will be in Bilbao.

FIBA

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