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    SBP chief jokes about hosting closed-door game: 'Meralco gym na lang'

    Jul 19, 2018
    SBP president Al Panlilio is still seeking clarification from Fiba whether TV coverage will be allowed in the Philippines' closed-door home game.
    PHOTO: jham mariano

    THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said Fiba will be working with the federation on the procedures on how the closed-door home game will be done.

    Fiba has slapped SBP a penalty in which one of the Philippines' home games in the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers will be held behind closed doors. The sanctions were due to the melee that occurred at the Philippine Arena on July 2 between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia.

    The home game that will be played under closed doors will be the September 17 match against Qatar.

    SBP president Al Panlilio said the match will definitely not be played in front of the audience, but other aspects like broadcast and media coverage will still be clarified with Fiba.

    “I think broadcast puwede ‘yan. Closed door, meaning walang fans,” said Panlilio. “It said that Fiba will work with us on how Fiba will execute that.

    Panlilio said they are also looking at even playing at a smaller venue for the closed-door home game, but the venue should be approved first by Fiba.

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    “We will play at the Meralco gym na lang,” said Panlilio in jest.

    Also part of the sanction is that the next two home games will be played under a probationary period of three years.

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    SBP executive director Renauld Barrios explained the next home game after the Qatar match will no longer be played under closed doors if no untoward incident occurs.

    “There is only, for now, one closed-door game against Qatar. Behind closed doors decision refers only to home games, it doesn’t refer to away games. For now, it’s only covering the Qatar game.

    “If there is no untoward incident in the Qatar game, then the next game will be held with the public in attendance,” Barrios said.

    Still, Barrios said SBP is not yet safe from sanctions in future Fiba-sanctioned competitions if a same incident occurs in the next three years.

    “The three-year period covers a period in which if there is a similar incident, hope to God nothing will take place, then they can grab the boom on us and say, closed door na naman kayo. That’s why it’s probational pero three years. In the next three years, we better not have a similar incident. Or else, we will have a game behind closed doors,” said Barrios.

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    SBP president Al Panlilio is still seeking clarification from Fiba whether TV coverage will be allowed in the Philippines' closed-door home game.
    PHOTO: jham mariano
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