MANILA – The Philippines has been chosen as one of the hosts for the February window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers (ACQ).
FIBA announced on Friday that the country is among four nations that will host a bubble each in the final set of games to determine which teams will qualify for next year’s FIBA Asia Cup.
“The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is honored and humbled to be chosen as one of the hosts of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers this coming February,” SBP president Al Panlilio said.
The Philippine bubble of the third ACQ window is expected to be patterned to that of the recently concluded Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season, which took place in Angeles City.
The teams will travel back and forth from the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in the city’s downtown to their designated hotel residence inside the Clark Economic Zone.
Following the success of the PBA bubble, FIBA gave SBP the go-signal to host a bubble.
“The most important criteria in choosing the hosts, like for the previous window, was health and travel guarantees and compliance with FIBA health protocols, including testing and controlled entry into a secure environment,” FIBA said in a statement.
Panlilio, meanwhile, welcomed FIBA’s decision.
“We are thankful for FIBA’s trust in our capacity to host not just a successful tournament but, more importantly, a safe one. We’re glad to have met their health standards,” he said.
The concurrent Meralco team governor then thanked the PBA “for sharing with us their expertise after successfully hosting the PBA bubble”.
“We’re looking forward to working hand-in-hand with them, including involved Philippine government agencies and other basketball stakeholders in this unique opportunity,” Panlilio continued.
The SBP will host the Angeles bubble for two groups, namely Group A, where host team Gilas Pilipinas Men, Southeast Asian neighbors Indonesia and Thailand, and rival South Korea are in, and Group C, consisting of Australia, New Zealand, Guam, and Hong Kong.
“The SBP is excited to show them the same warmth of Filipino hospitality even under these difficult circumstances,” Panlilio assured. (PNA)