Philippines steps up to host Fiba Asia qualifiers again
MANILA, Philippines—It seems the Philippines is back as one of the hosts of the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers after Qatar pulled out of the responsibility due to the spike of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Fiba announced on Friday that Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was again given the hosting responsibilities for the February window with two groups heading to the country for the tournament.
The dates for the tournament, however, remain to be settled.
“Fixing the dates of the ‘windows to be created’ under this unexpected and unordinary situation will still need about 10 days to be finalized,” FIBA Asia executive director Hagop Khajirian announced in a statement.
“However, we have already decided to have these games in the Philippines, where SBP will host two groups, and in Lebanon, where [the Lebanese Basketball Federation] will host the third group.”
The Philippines was originally one of the hosts of the February window with Groups A and C initially slated to play in Clark, Pampanga but the SBP had begged off after the government imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of the UK variant.
This led Qatar to take over the hosting duties for Groups A, B, and E but that was also canceled after the gulf state’s Ministry of Public Health ordered to shelve all events due to COVID-19.
The Philippines Group A with a perfect 3-0 record and needs just one more win to advance to the Asia Cup in Indonesia.