The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the request of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to host the final window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
The short tournament will be held in Clark, Pampanga from June 16 to 20 .
“We extend our appreciation to (Philippine Sports Commission) Chairman Butch Ramirez and Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Vince Dizon for all their help throughout this process,” wrote the SBP in a statement. “The SBP has been working with FIBA, government agencies, and other partners to ensure a successful and, more importantly, a safe bubble.”
Three groups will be hosted by the Philippines with 20 teams bidding to join the tournament proper slated from August 16 to 28 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Philippines is bracketed in Group A together with South Korea and Indonesia. Gilas takes on South Korea on the 16th and again on the 19th before clashing with the hosts on the 20th. The Nationals only need to win once in order to advance.
Group B is composed of Chinese Taipei, Japan, Malaysia and China, while Group C has Australia, New Zealand, Guam and Hong Kong.
“We’re looking forward to hosting our friends from Groups A, B, and C and showing them the kind of hospitality that the Philippines is known for,” wrote the federation. “The SBP knows that Filipino basketball fans have waited a long time for this and we’re just as excited as they are to have international basketball in our country again.”