POC concerned over Gilas’ Asian Games stint ahead of Fiba sanctions
The ugly melee between the Philippines and Australia in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers could have an effect not just on the basketball landscape but also on the continental stage.
A few days after the brawl, the idea that Gilas could likely miss the Asian Games in Indonesia in August suddenly got footing.
Patrick Gregorio, the Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general, said Fiba might take into consideration the Philippines’ participation in the basketball tournament in Jakarta after what happened in Bulacan.
“To be very honest, one reason why we have to process this together is because of the Asian Games,” said Gregorio Thursday at PBA office after a meeting with Gilas players, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio.
“We have to anticipate that Fiba will consider our participation there.”
Gilas and the Boomers got into a free-for-all in the third quarter of their World Cup Qualifier that saw a total of 13 players get ejected, nine Filipinos and four Australians.
Gregorio, who indicated Gilas’ exclusion would be a worst-case scenario, said Indonesian officials know of the Philippines’ predicament and that they wouldn’t want Gilas to be left out of the Asian Games.
Apart from Indonesia’s hosting duties for the Asian Games, the country will also host the 2023 World Cup with the Philippines and Japan.
“Indonesia is our partner in 2023 and we want to be there,” said Gregorio. “We want to play there and it’s for our country. We hope that what happened will not affect our participation in the Asian Games. We want to be a part of it.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.