NO sanction is forthcoming from FIBA after the Philippines was forced to pull out of its hosting chores in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al S. Panlilio made the assurance in the light of the transferring of cancelled Group A games from Clark, Pampanga to Doha, Qatar.
Panlilio added how the SBP has been in constant communication with the world governing body for basketball about the present situation in the country with regards the government policy on COVID-19.
The SBP chief is just grateful FIBA understands the position of the federation.
“No, walang sanction,” stressed Panlilio. “We worked hard to make it (hosting) happen, but it’s just a matter that is beyond our control.”
Travel restrictions by the government on foreign arrivals forced the SBP to pull out of its hosting chores for the Feb. 18 to 21 in Clark, Pampanga.
The country was supposed to host Group A that includes the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia, and Group C featuring Guam, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong.
South Korea, Australia, and Hong Kong are among the countries included in the Philippines’ list of travel ban.
“They (FIBA) understand our position, because even Japan which was supposed to host Group B, has not been able to host its window,” said Panlilio.
Like the Philippines, Japan’s hosting chores had been assumed by Qatar.
“FIBA knows that we remain committed to its programs, and SBP as a federation has always been supportive of Secretary-General Andreas Zagklis,” Panlilio said.
Even before FIBA announced on Thursday night that Qatar will likewise host games in Group A, the SBP prexy already had a feeling it would either be Doha or Manama in Bahrain which will accept the hosting job.
“That’s my impression that FIBA is trying to working out,” he said.
“I think what FIBA wants to do, because its calendar has been affected so much by COVID-19, is to play the games,” added the SBP president. “That’s why we even talk to them to host two groups here dahil nagkakagulo na nga ‘yung kalendaryo ng FIBA.”
Unfortunately, the country’s hosting just wasn’t meant to be.
“We would have loved to host Groups A and C in Clark, but things beyond our control made it necessary to adjust our plans, and we thank everyone for their flexibility,” Panlilio said.
“We are thankful to FIBA and the Qatar Basketball Federation for all their efforts to make sure that the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers for Group A will push through.
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