Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Photo by Fiba
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines are expected to host the February window for Group A of the 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced on Wednesday.
The initial schedule for the first window was November 2021 but Fiba has decided to postpone matches due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The schedule change means the February window will technically have two windows with all four teams playing eight games in a bubble environment.
“Fiba’s regional office for Asia has been monitoring the pandemic situation in the region closely and has seen fit to exercise its right to hold the games in a bubble. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, due to the experience we have gained in hosting the final window of the FIBA Asian Cup qualifiers, have volunteered to host the Group A matches, ”said the President of SBP, Al Panlilio.
The November window was supposed to have home and away matches for all four teams.
Group A includes the Philippines, New Zealand, South Korea and India.
“We are delighted to welcome Korea back to the country and also welcome New Zealand and India,” said Panlilio.
The last time New Zealand played in the Philippines was at the 2016 Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament, while India’s last visit was at the 2013 Fiba Asian Championship.
“Fiba praised the SBP for the way we hosted the ACQ window and this led to their decision to accept our offer to host again next February. We will host four teams in total, up from seven last time. so we are confident that we can not only repeat what we have achieved, but also improve it, ”said Panlilio.
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