SBP wishes South Korea well after pullout due to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines—The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas sympathized with South Korea which was forced to pull out of the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian Qualifiers after a string of COVID-19 infections swept across the national team.
SBP said it understands what the Korea Basketball Association went through heading into the qualifying tournament while also wishing their East Asian counterparts that the players recover quickly from the virus.
“We at the SBP commiserate with our friends from Korea as we know how difficult it is to deal with COVID-19. The SBP hopes that all the members of the team who caught the virus will get well at the soonest time possible,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.
Korea officially pulled out of the February window of the World Cup qualifiers as it could only send 10 men to Manila after several of its players tested positive for COVID-19.
Naturalized center Ra Gun-A and 2020 Korean Basketball League MVP Heo Hoon were reportedly among the players who tested positive for COVID-19.
The SBP was also notified of Korea’s decision to pull out of the tournament after the KBA communicated with Fiba.
“The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has formally received word from FIBA that Korea can no longer send a team to compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 – Asian Qualifiers hosted in the Philippines this week,” said Panlilio.
“We’ve worked hard to provide a safe venue as hosts for Windows 1 and 2 in Group A and we are looking forward to hosting and playing against India and New Zealand.”
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