The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) was given the green light by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management Emerging Infectious Diseases to stage the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in a bubble format on June 16 to 20 in Clark, Pampanga.
The IATF-MEID decision came from the Resolution No. 114 dated May 6 with the government approving the request of the SBP, led by its president Al Panlilio, to host the said event.
“Approving the request of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to host the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Cup Qualifiers in June 2021 to be held under a “bubble-type” setting in Clark, Pampanga,” said in the resolution under section C.1.
The country will host three groups in third window. Gilas Pilipinas belongs with Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea in Group A, Group B with China, Japan and Chinese Taipei, and Group C with Guam and Hong Kong.
The IATF-MEID ordered the SBP to strictly follow the testing and quarantine protocols of the arriving foreign participants subject to the FIBA-required guidelines as presented in its request.
Also, all non-player participants not otherwise covered by FIBA rules, whether foreign or local, shall self-isolate upon arrival in the venue until the testing on the sixth day.
“As the national government agency with the visitorial and supervisory authority, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) shall assume responsibility for monitoring and supervising the compliance of the health and safety protocols of the event,” said in the resolution.
IATF chairperson Sec. Francisco Duque III of the Department of Health (DOH) and IATF Co-Chairperson Sec. Karlo Nograles of the Office of the Cabinet Secretariat were the signatories of the resolution.
For his part, Panlilio said that they are looking forward to staging a safe bubble tournament.
“The SBP has been working with FIBA, government agencies, and other partners to ensure a successful and more importantly, a safe bubble,” said Panlilio, who thanked the IATF, PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez and Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Vince Dizon for all their help throughout the process.
“We’re looking forward to hosting our friends from Groups A, B, and C and showing them the kind of hospitality that the Philippines is known for.”
“The SBP knows that Filipino basketball fans have waited a long time for this and we’re just excited as they are to have international basketball in our country again,” added Panlilio.