Asia’s governing body for basketball has commended the work done by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) for the country’s hosting of third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers from July 16 to 20 in Clark, Pampanga.
In a letter to the SBP, FIBA Executive Director-Asia Hagop Kharjirian said that members of the FIBA Asia Board were appreciative of the “excellent effort” of the local basketball federation in staging the bubble tournament for two groups of the qualifiers.
Led by its president Al Panlilio, the SBP hosted Groups A and B which was composed of six visiting teams.
“Please accept our sincere appreciation,” said Kharjirian, a longtime basketball official from Lebanon, in his letter dated June 23. “For the excellent effort and support you and your staff provided in organizing and hosting FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers Window 3.”
“Having organized such an impressive event, especially during these challenging times, involves enormous amounts of time and energy which contributed substantially to its success.”
The country actually was originally chosen to stage the event early this year but because of the rising COVID-19 cases last March, the SBP bagged off and Qatar was selected as replacement.
When basketball officials from Qatar opted to cancel the hosting due to the same health reasons, the SBP stepped in to regain the hosting when it received clearance from the government.
Four countries played in Group A, including Gilas Pilipinas, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea, while in Group B were China, Chinese Taipei and Japan.
The national team swept all its three games to finish the qualifiers unbeaten in six matches, During the Clark bubble, Gilas beat the Koreans twice, 81-78 last June 16, and 82-77 last June 20, and one against Indonesia 76-51 last June 18.
China, meantime, went 4-0 following twin wins against Japan as well as against Taipei.
Gilas, China, Korea and Japan joined Lebanon, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Syria, Australia and New Zealand as qualified teams in the FIBA Asia Cup set August 17 to 29 in Jakarta.
Kharjirian said he is pleased to see the Philippines as among the national teams in the Asia Cup.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for having your National Team qualify to the FIBA Asia Cup 2021,” he said. “All your diligent work and commitment are paid off.”