Thailand among the top picks to roof FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers resumption
After COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the remainder of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) continental cup qualifier, the league is set to resume with a bubbles set-up with Thailand among the choices of possible hosts.
“All the games of both windows should be conducted in “bubbles”, instead of home and away games, with the agreement of the host public health authorities and in compliance with FIBA health protocols,” FIBA said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Fareza Tamrella, the team manager of the Indonesian men’s basketball team, told BolaSkor.com that Thailand has shown its interest to host the qualifying windows this November and in February next year.
“If the information I received [is correct], it is likely that [we will play in] Thailand. But it is not official yet. The date remains the same,” he said.
FIBA told that they will converge one qualifying group in one bubble, which means Gilas Pilipinas Men, Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea, which make up Group A of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, would be roofed in just one area.
However, FIBA also said it is possible that one bubble will have two qualifying groups in it.
“There will likely be two groups in each bubble, maybe the Southeast Asian one,” said Fareza. “[I’m] not yet informed about the rules regarding the swab test and others, maybe FIBA is still in the process [of finalizing it]. But we believe in FIBA that they will act and take careful consideration,” he added.
FIBA has yet to decide on when the game will be rescheduled, although it is expected that their first-round meeting may take place just before the regular November window, where both teams will face off again.
Before the scheduled Gilas Men-Thailand rematch on November 30, Gilas Men will face South Korea first on November 27 in a battle pitting unbeaten teams and heavy favorites to top Group A.
As of the record, Korea leads in the standing of Group A at 2-0, while Thailand (0-1) and Indonesia (0-2) remain winless.
With only the top two teams from each group are guaranteed their flight to Lebanon for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup, and the third-place teams among the six groups fighting for the last four tickets.
If indeed true that Thailand will shelter the league, the country will once again serve as cordial hosts for the event after staging the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship, with games being held at Stadium29 in Nonthaburi.