The country’s hosting of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers will likely take place in mid-June, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios said Saturday March 5, 2021.
Barrios told Power and Play host Noli Eala that FIBA is eyeing a June 14 to June 20 schedule for the third window of the qualifiers set in Clark, Pampanga following the decision of Doha, Qatar to host the final phase of the competition which was supposed to be played last month.
“Di pa sila naglalabas ng official release (FIBA), pero yun yung tinitignan na schedule (FIBA has yet to put up an official release, but they are looking to hold it on that schedule),” Barrios told Eala.
SBP initially accepted the hosting rights for the qualifiers featuring two groups, including the one where Gilas Pilipinas was drawn.
But the SBP decided to opt out of hosting the bubble window after various variants of COVID-19 led to travel restrictions imposed by the government.
Doha eventually took over from SBP, but later begged off due to the similar reasons.
Barrios said Bases Conversions and Development Authority head Vince Dizon, who also serves as deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force against COVID-19, has been supportive with SBP’s preparation for the qualifiers.
“Actually irerefine lang natin yung ginawa natin sana for March hosting pero na-push back na ng June (We’re actually refining the things that we’re supposed to be implemented for the March hosting which was pushed back to June.),” said Barrios.
“Ang office naman nila Sec. Dizon very positive, very supportive na maghohost tayo sa June (The office of Sec. Dizon has been very positive and very supportive of our hosting).” added Barrios.
Gilas is scheduled to play South Korea twice and Indonesia once in the last installment of the continental qualifiers.
The national cagers lead Group A with a perfect 3-0 record, needing just one win to confirm their place in the FIBA Asia Cup slated August in Indonesia.