Basketball: FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers will hold next windows in ‘bubble’


Posted at Sep 18 2020 08:55 PM

FIBA Asia Cup will stage its next two qualifiers in a bubble-type format given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers have decided to do away with the home-and-away format for the next two windows slated to take place this November and in February 2021.

According to an announcement posted on the FIBA website: "All the games of both windows should be conducted in 'bubbles,' instead of home and away games, with the agreement of the host public health authorities and in compliance with FIBA health protocols (including PCR testing and controlled entry into a secure environment in the competition city)." 

"Each 'bubble' will consist of 4 or 8 teams (one or two qualification groups). The hosts will be decided at regional level and will be announced in due course.

"FIBA will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis and communicate further updates in regard to FIBA Competitions when necessary."

The Philippines is clustered together with South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia in Group A.

Gilas Pilipinas cruised to a 100-70 victory over Indonesia in the first window of the qualifiers in February before the tournament was halted.

Thirdy Ravena, who is now part of Japanese B. League's San-En NeoPhoenix, came off the bench with 23 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

Roger Pogoy and CJ Perez chipped in 16 points and 11 points for Gilas, respectively.

The Filipinos were supposed to take on South Korea on November 27 before tackling Thailand on November 30 in the next window. 

The team, however, will still have to address its training concerns even as the country still waits for the resumption of the PBA games.

Gilas also has yet to tap a new naturalized player who will replace Andray Blatche. Among those being considered are Justin Brownlee, Chris McCullough, and Ange Kouame.