MANILA - The Philippine national basketball team has arrived in Clark ahead of the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers this week.
The team arrived at the Quest Hotel on Sunday afternoon, shortly after the arrival of the South Korean national team.
Aside from Gilas Pilipinas, Clark will welcome South Korea, China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and Indonesia for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers. All teams will be billeted at the Quest Hotel, while games will be held at the nearby Angeles University Foundation Gym.
"Hopefully, we are able to really show the traditional Filipino hospitality to our guests," said Vince Dizon, president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
Butch Antonio, deputy executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), assured that foreign teams followed strict health and safety protocols before arriving in the country.
Teams were tested 12, seven, and two days before their departure for Manila. They were given another RT-PCR test upon arrival to the country, and will be tested anew on June 17th.
"Testing is done very much regularly, just to make sure that the athletes are safe," said Antonio. "Meron pa at the end of the tournament, should they require, we can arrange for another test. That's a total of at least five tests."
Each player will have his own individual room. Should a player -- or any member of the delegation -- test positive, he will be isolated first in his room while organizers follow the protocols put together by FIBA as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force.
"We have a biosecurity group here that will address issues on positive results for players and delegates," Antonio assured.
Games start on June 16.
Gilas Pilipinas plays three games -- against South Korea on June 16 and 20, and against Indonesia on June 18. The top two teams from each group qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup proper, which will be held in Indonesia in August.
The Philippines currently has a 3-0 slate in group play, thanks to victories over Indonesia in February 2020 and against Thailand, twice, in November 2020.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: