SBP: No fans at Fiba World Cup qualifiers as of now
MANILA, Philippines—As it stands, the February window of Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers will be staged at Araneta Coliseum without the fans.
According to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios, the Quezon City local government unit (LGU) did not give any permission to have fans in attendance at the Big Dome.
“For our hosting, we also need to ask permission from the LGU on top of the PSC and the IATF. We asked permission from Quezon City (LGU) and they said okay but no fans yet,” Barrios said in Filipino during the PSA Forum on Tuesday.
The Philippines, which is in Group A with New Zealand, South Korea and India, is scheduled to play four games from February 24 to 28. The window marks the return of Chot Reyes as Gilas Pilipinas head coach after being tapped to replace Tab Baldwin earlier this month.
Metro Manila is under alert level 2 from February 1 to 15.
But the situation is likely to change before the qualifiers with the Department of Health (DOH) and the national pandemic task force raising the possibility of easing restrictions that could see the National Capital Region (NCR) shifting to the lowest alert level.
On Monday, the DOH reported 6,835 new cases of COVID-19, the seventh straight day that the number of infections was under 10,000.
“If COVID-19 cases continue to decline and reach the threshold appropriate for alert level 1 then we will do that. Nothing will prevent us from de-escalating to alert level 1 but the sooner the better,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
“Let’s see what the development will be on the 16th until the end of February, which will cover the qualifiers, if there’s still hope,” said Barrios.