PH to host FIBA World Cup qualifiers bubble in February 2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 14) — The Philippines is set to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers for Group A in February 2022, it was announced by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

The Philippines was initially scheduled to face South Korea, New Zealand, and India in a home-and-away format next month.

But FIBA made the adjustments and will instead use the bubble format due to the travel restrictions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The February tilt will feature two windows with the four countries playing eight games.

“The FIBA Regional Office Asia has been closely monitoring the pandemic situation in the region and they saw it fit to employ their right to hold the games in a bubble,” SBP President Al Panlilio said.

“The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, because of the experience we gained in hosting the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, volunteered to host the games in Group A,” he added.

New Zealand last saw action in the country in the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, while India last visited in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

The Philippines swept South Korea in the third and final window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, which the former hosted in June at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Pampanga.

Group B of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers will also be held in a bubble setup with Japan hosting China on Nov. 27 and 28 before battling Australia and Chinese Taipei in February.

Competing for Group C are Jordan, Lebanon, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, while Group D will be composed of Iran, Kazakhstan, Syria, and Bahrain. The schedule will push through with the home-and-away format this November.