Possible bubble for Gilas Pilipinas after FIBA announces plans to restart continental qualifiers

Members of Gilas Pilipinas sing the national anthem before its 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers match against Indonesia. (FIBA photo)

Gilas Pilipinas could see itself playing under a bubble concept for its 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers campaign.

World governing body FIBA on Friday announced that all continental qualifiers including the Asia Cup should be played in a bubble-type setup for the Nov. 2020 and Feb. 2021 windows.

FIBA’s executive committee came up with the decision after a recommendation by its medical commission and competitions while also considering the health and safety of participants.

FIBA Asia and other continental bodies are allowed to hold a bubble consisting of one or two qualification groups. Each group in the continental qualifiers has four teams.

All continental qualifiers were staged in a home-and-away format prior to the pandemic.

FIBA is also requiring PCR testing (swabbing) and “controlled entry into a secure environment in the competition city.”

If everything is settled before November, Gilas can resume its campaign in the qualifiers which was put on hold after just one game due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gilas defeated Indonesia 100-70 last Feb. 24 for its only match of the first window. The Philippines was supposed to host Thailand but the match was postponed due to virus situation.