SBP remains committed to hosting Asia Cup Qualifiers in June

Published April 17, 2021, 9:46 PM

by Jonas Terrado

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is fully committed to host the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in mid-June despite the possibility of another postponement due to the current COVID-19 situation in the country.

Clark, Pampanga is due to host teams from three groups in the June 16 to 20 window, but the recent surge in COVID-19 cases could serve as a stumbling block in its bid to finish the remaining games of the continental qualifiers.

“Although we’ve indicated to FIBA that times are uncertain, we are committed,” Panlilio said in the Power and Play program of former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

“But again, there is still that chance na may mangyari, but we are fully committed to host in June,” added Panlilio.

The Philippines was supposed to originally host the qualifiers in Clark last February, but begged off after the government imposed travel restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Doha took the cudgels, but eventually backed off at the last minute due to a spike in cases in Qatar. That prompted the SBP to once again take the responsibility of staging the qualifiers.

“We’ve always been close to FIBA and we always want to support their programs,” Panlilio said when asked by Eala as to why the SBP decided to accept the hosting gig.

“It’s our way of being part of the basketball family of FIBA, it’s our way of helping FIBA really start or at least make the activities and programs of FIBA happen,” he added.

Gilas Pilipinas, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand will play the remaining Group A games while Group B squads slated to come over are China, Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Comprising Group C are defending Asia Cup champion Australia, New Zealand, Guam and Hong Kong.