FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Doha canceled amid spike in COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 12)— The final window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers originally slated in Doha, Qatar will not push through this February, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced on Friday.

In a statement, the SBP confirmed receiving a letter from FIBA informing concerned teams that Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health ordered the cancellation of all events hosted there due to the “increasing rates of COVID-19” in the country.

“The SBP is saddened by the development especially because we know the kind of work that our Gilas Pilipinas Men’s pool has done in Calamba,” said Al Panlilio, president of SBP.

“Although we are saddened by the situation, we also understand the predicament faced by the Qatar Basketball Federation as they had no choice but to follow the mandate of their government,” he added.

The SBP said FIBA will now “carefully study” possible alternatives for holding games in the future.

Gilas Pilipinas currently leads and holds a 3-0 record in Group A and only needs one more win to qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup. Gilas was expected to face South Korea and Indonesia in the third and final window, originally scheduled to start on Feb. 17.