PH offers to host 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers bubble

THE Philippines will be hosting the first and second windows of the 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers in February 2022 after the international basketball federation—Fiba—made adjustments to the schedule owing to the travel restrictions that are still being imposed in countries all over the region.

Rather than playing in home and away games next month, the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team will now take on South Korea twice and will also meet Group A teams, New Zealand and India.

“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 (SBP), 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.

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

The country is no stranger to hosting Fiba games as they hosted the third window of the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers back in June in Pampanga. Fiba was impressed with how the tournament was conducted and saw it best to hand hosting duties back to the Philippines.

“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,” explained Panlilio.