PHILIPPINES TO SET A BUBBLE WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS IN FEBRUARY 2022
FIBA announced that the PH will host the supposedly World Cup Qualifiers in November to push in February 2022, covering all first and second window games between Group A teams.
FIBA shared the said development after assessing the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic across the continental countries that are expected to participate and compete.
“The Fiba Regional Office Asia has been closely monitoring the pandemic situation in the region and they saw it fit to employ their right to hold the games in a bubble. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, because of the experience we gained in hosting the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, volunteered to host the games in Group A,” said SBP President Al Panlilio.
Panlilio was thrilled since the home-and-away format scheduled in November was already out of the boat, GILAS will square off Korea twice in February, as well as hosting fellow Group A countries’ New Zealand and India.
“We’re excited to welcome Korea back into the country and host New Zealand and India as well.”
Meanwhile, Group B games will continue on November 27 and 28 with Japan hosting China; another two Group B games will be held in February 2022 between Australia and Chinese Taipei, and a home-and-away format will be used for the games in Groupon C and D.
As for the Pearl of the Orient Seas, FIBA was impressed by how PH handled and hosted the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers last June at Angeles University Foundation Gym.
“Fiba gave the SBP a commendation for the way we hosted the ACQ window and this led to their decision to take us up on our offer to host again this coming February. We’ll be hosting four teams in total, down from the seven the last time, so we’re confident that we could not only repeat what we accomplished but improve on it,” said Panlilio.
For now, FIBA is monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is said to give updates when necessary.