[PHOTO AT LEFT - BASKETBOLA, NOT HEZBOLLAH: Members of the Lebanese basketball team present their travel documents on their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday for a series of tune-up matches with local teams before the world championships in Japan next week. Photo By RUDY SANTOS]

MANILA, AUGUST 12, 2006 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - The Philippine-Lebanon goodwill series is pushing through as scheduled after PBA ballclubs decided to field their top players for the dual meet slated tomorrow and Wednesday in two separate venues here.

Released by their respective clubs for the series are Jimmy Alapag, Don Allado, Renren Ritualo and Asi Taulava of Talk n Text, Mick Pennisi and Larry Fonacier of Red Bull, Willie Miller and Mike Cortez of Alaska Milk, Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril of Ginebra, Dennis Miranda of Coca-Cola and Ranidel de Ocampo of Air21.

The squad takes on the World Championship-bound Lebanon team at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Astrodome and at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. The Lebanese arrived yesterday.

Ateneo coach Norman Black will call the shots in place of national mentor Chot Reyes who left for Taiwan yesterday together with the San Miguel team seeing action in the Asian Professional Tourney. The Beermen will go up against top commercial teams from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan among others.

"Looks like a solid team. Itís a commitment to the RP team that the ball clubs came forth and offered their players," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

The Nationals expect to go through a tough grind against Lebanese who are here for the final stage of their buildup for the World Championship in Saitama, Japan.

The Lebanese moved out of their war-torn country and pitched camp in Syria to prepare for the World event. They later played a series of games against Jordan, Slovenia, Canada and Germany before flying here yesterday.

The Lebanese, runners-up to China in the last two FIBA-Asia championships, are playing in the World Championship. for the second straight time.

Tickets for the games are pegged at P100 for ringside and P50 for lower box. General admission is free.

Meanwhile, the PBA board of governors leaves for Macau this morning for a three-day meeting where it would discuss proposed programs that hopefully will carry the league through next season.

The budget for the 2006-07 season, the national team program in the face of the countryís continued suspension by Fiba and the proposal for a charter change are up in the agenda of the conference hosted by new league member Welcoat Paints, headed by co-owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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