SBP cancels PH FIBA Asia Cup 3rd window hosting

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The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) cancelled the nation’s hosting the 3rd window for Groups A and C of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers this coming February, citing travel ban as the primary reason.

The Philippines was awarded hosting rights late last year for a bubble in Clark. However, plans have been derailed.

“The SBP wanted nothing else than to be one with the international basketball community as it attempts to bounce back in 2021 after taking a huge hit during the pandemic. Our commitment to FIBA has never wavered as evidenced by our participation in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain even amidst the difficult circumstances,” said SBP President Al Panlilio in a statement.

“The SBP offered to welcome not just Group A where we belong, but Group C as well because we were confident we’d be able to host a safe environment where world-class basketball players can showcase their skill without having to worry about anything else. We’ve exerted a lot of effort into our hosting of the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers and this is why it is with great sadness that we announce it is no longer going to happen.”

The Philippines were supposed to play Korea and Indonesia at home.

Group C, meanwhile, included Australia.

The development is the latest in the sports industry’s on-going battle to thrive amidst the pandemic situation worldwide.

Levi Verora