February window proceeds but no decision yet after South Korea pullout — FIBA

Photo from FIBA

FIBA deferred from taking immediate action on South Korea’s pullout from this week’s Group A window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum due to COVID-19 concerns.

The world governing body confirmed Wednesday, Feb. 23 the South Koreans' decision to skip the games set Feb. 24 to 28 after one player tested positive prior to the team’s supposed flight for Manila.

But FIBA stopped short of saying if South Korea’s four games, two of which against Gilas Pilipinas, will be forfeited or rescheduled in the following windows.

“FIBA was informed by Korea Basketball Association (South Korea’s basketball federation) of its decision not to travel to the Philippines to participate in the second Window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers,” FIBA said in a statement.

“The remaining games of the second Window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers will take place as scheduled,” the statement concluded.

Only games featuring Gilas, New Zealand and India are going to be played during the window, meaning that only one game will be held per playdate.

South Korea had been hit with COVID infections during its preparation for the qualifiers, with the KBA eventually deciding to withdraw due to the positive test and a few members of the team being considered as close contacts.

A story by a South Korean website Chosun appears to suggest that South Korea is willing to have its games forfeited which would end its chances of advancing to the second round of the qualifiers.