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    Fiba faces scheduling challenges with only six months left before Asia Cup

    Feb 26, 2021

    SIX months away from the staging of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup and only three nations have formally earned tickets to the continental tournament.

    Only Lebanon and Bahrain, the top two teams from Group D, have booked their tickets, while Indonesia has advanced as host nation.

    The basketball governing body looks to complete the 16-nation cast in time for the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in August.

    Actually, it was only Group D which was able to finish all of its qualifying games in time, with Lebanon sweeping the bracket to go 6-0, while Bahrain owned a 4-2 record for second place.

    A total of 32 qualifying games remain unplayed across the five groups, six of which comes from Group A, which has Gilas Pilipinas, Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand.

    Meanwhile, a whopping 10 games are still to be held for Group B, which has China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Malaysia. Only the Chinese Taipei games against Malaysia and Japan in February 2020 were held as sports was halted by the pandemic.

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    Group C still has eight games to be disputed among its participants Australia, New Zealand, Guam, and Hong Kong, while there are four games remaining for Group E, which has Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar; and Group F, which has Kazakhstan, Palestine, Jordan, and Sri Lanka.

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    Kazakhstan, though, is virtually qualified for the tilt as it sports a 4-1 record atop Group F.

    Also, all the Group F games will feature Jordan which failed to enter the Manama bubble in the February window as 10 members of its delegations tested positive for the virus upon arrival in Bahrain.

    Once all those games were finished, the number of qualified teams are expected to balloon to 13, with the top two nations from each bracket awarded a berth for the quadrennial tilt.

    The international basketball federation did issue a memorandum dated Feb. 12 and awarded hosting rights to the Philippines and Lebanon for these "windows to be created," although nothing has come up since.

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    However, there are still three slots up for grabs with the final qualifying tournament for the third-placers also set to be held.

    So far, only India is assured of a seat in that last chance bus as it went 2-4 in Group D.


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