Philippines to host February windows of FIBA World Cup qualifiers

PHOTO CAPTION: Gilas Pilipinas in one of the most recent FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. The Philippines will be hosting the February window for Group A of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers./iNews (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of FIBA)

(Bong Lozada/Inquirer Sports)

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is set to host the February window for Group A of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced Wednesday.

The initial schedule of the first window was in November 2021 but FIBA decided to postpone the games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The change in schedule meant that the February window will technically feature two windows with the four teams playing eight games in a bubble environment.

“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.

The November window was supposed to have home-and-away games for all four teams.

Group A consists of the Philippines, New Zealand, South Korea, and India.

“We’re excited to welcome Korea back into the country and host New Zealand and India as well,” said Panlilio.

The last time New Zealand played in the Philippines was during the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament while India’s last visit was during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

“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. (Bong Lozada/Inquirer Sports)

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