By Agence France-Presse

Philadelphia 76ers ace Ben Simmons is set to skip Australia’s World Cup campaign in favour of pre-season preparations, ESPN reported on Saturday.

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Ben Simmons (right) is “doubtful” for Australia’s FIBA World Cup campaign, according to a report (AFP Photo/Vaughn Ridley) / MANILA BULLETIN

The Melbourne-born star’s agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN he was “doubtful” to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup, which tips off in China on August 31.

Simmons, 22, had initially indicated he planned to play in the tournament, stating in May he was “looking forward to representing … Australia in the upcoming @FIBA World Cup in China.”

However ESPN reported that Simmons, who also pulled out of the 2016 Olympics, wants to concentrate on the 2019 NBA season.

Australia’s squad is still likely to be laced with other NBA players though, including Joe Ingles, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes.

Simmons enjoyed a solid season with the Sixers last year, named as an All-Star while averaging 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game.

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