SEABA Championships winner to face Australia in FIBA World Cup qualifiers

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(CNN Philippines) — The Philippines could be one of the first national teams to greet heavyweight Australia, as they make their debut in the Asian qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The draw was made early Monday morning Manila time in Guangzhou, China.

Beginning November, the 80 nations will compete in home and away games across six qualifying windows.

Even though the Philippines was drawn at the ceremony, their spot in the competition is not yet confirmed.

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes clarified on Twitter that the Philippines was used as a placeholder as the top team from Southeast Asia.

 

Apart from Australia, the eventual SEABA champions will be grouped with Japan and Chinese Taipei in Group B.

The Philippines must first win the 2017 SEABA Championships to be a part of the qualifiers.

 

Should Gilas Pilipinas qualify, they will first play Japan on November 24, before facing off against Chinese Taipei on November 27.

The best seven teams after the Asian qualifiers will join host nation China to represent the region in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The 2017 SEABA Championships will be played in Manila from May 12 to May 18.