THE FINAL World Cup lineup of the Dominican Republic, first opponents of Gilas Pilipinas, is all set, led by Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Making his return to international competition after 10 years, Mr. Towns averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the NBA regular season and has been immersed in the Dominican Republic’s preparations in Puerto Rico, Latvia and Spain.

Also in the fray for the world No. 23 Dominicans is Lester Quiñones, who played for the Golden State Warriors last season before being moved to the Sta. Cruz Warriors for the upcoming G League season.

International veterans Victor Liz, Angel Delgado, LJ Figueroa, Jean Montero, Andres Feliz, Gelvis Solano, Rigoberto Mendoza, Gerardo Suero, Antonio Pena and Eloy Vargas complete the roster.

Boston Celtic Al Horford and the Sacramento Kings’ Chris Duarte are out this time but the Dominicans still loom as a formidable hurdle for the Filipinos in Group A.

The Dominican Republic, which stunned Canada with a 94-88 win over the weekend, dropped its final overseas tune-up game against Spain, 86-77, in Granada before traveling to the Philippines last night.

It will have another friendly against Group D team Egypt, which is already in town, before the World Cup rolls out on Aug. 25.

Gilas, world No. 40, will host the Dominican Republic on Aug. 25 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan where the country will shoot for the new FIBA gate attendance record. The standing mark is 32,616 fans at the US-Russia finale in 1994 in Toronto.

World No. 10 Italy and No. 41 Angola, which will also clash in the opening at the 55,000-seater Bocaue arena, were the first teams to name their Final 12 from Group A and will play their remaining games at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Angola arrived over the weekend while Italy will follow suit today along with the other teams assigned to play in the Philippines, which will have 16 of the 32 World Cup teams as the main host.

The other 16 teams play in Indonesia and Japan. Qualifiers advance to play the knockout phase at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. — John Bryan Ulanday