OTHER than the need to form what it deems should be a very competitive team, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) also faces another dilemma if it doesn’t participate in next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).
A top Fiba official cautioned the country’s basketball federation not to miss one of the simultaneous three Rio De Janeiro qualifiers set July 4 to 10 or else face sanction from the world’s governing body for the sport.
Simon Wilkinson, communications coordinator of Fiba, said the Philippines is compelled to suit up in the meet where the three remaining Olympic slots will be at stake. The country clinched a berth in the tournament following Gilas Pilipinas’ gutsy runner-up finish behind China in the recent Fiba Asia Championship in China.
“The objective of participating in any Fiba continental championships is clearly laid-out before taking part in these competitions,” said Wilkinson in an emailed correspondence with the Bulletin, which first broke out the report.
“All teams aim to win the continental title and qualify, directly or indirectly, to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games,” said Wilkinson, who is also the Fiba spokesperson.