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    Gilas faces longer wait as Fiba announcement of Olympic qualifying hosts postponed to January

    Nov 12, 2015
    Gilas won't know if it will be playing at home or overseas in next year's Olympic wildcard qualifiers until January 11. Jerome Ascano

    GILAS Pilipinas faces a longer wait before knowing if it play at home or overseas in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.

    The Philippines and nine other countries seeking to hold one of three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQT) in July next year will have to wait until January 11 to find out which three bids have been favored by the world governing body for basketball.

    the Fiba executive committee, citing “technical reasons” without going into specifics, informed the national federations of all 10 countries that it “will not be able to make a decision on the hosts of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments on 23 November as previously communicated.”

    The letter of communication addressed to the presidents and secretary generals of the national federations of Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Turkey and the Philippines was signed by Fiba secretary-general Patrick Baumann.

    Fiba left three windows open for entry to the Olympic Games in Rio d Janeiro in August 2016 by announcing that three OQTs will be simultaneously held in July, with the winners gaining passage to the quadrennial sports conclave.

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    Putting behind the Philippines' loss to China in the final of the recent FIBA Asia Championship – the Olympic qualifier in the region – the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, through its president Manny V. Pangilinan, moved to have one of the OQTs staged in Manila, sending all bidding requirements to Fiba’s Geneva headquarters before the appointed November 11 deadline.

    As a consequence of FIBA postponing its decision on the winning rights until January 19, 2016, the OQT draw ceremony inevitably has also been rescheduled from November 24 to January 26, 2016.

    “You will get confirmation of the programme very soon,” said Baumann, who apologized for the “short-notice information.”

    While the November 11 zero hour for the submission of the Bidding Files was left as it is, Fiba extended the deadline for the bidders “to provide the bank guarantees” to January 11 at the latest.

    All bids will now be evaluated until the end of the year, with FIBA getting in touch with the winning countries and organizing visits, if necessary.

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    Gilas won't know if it will be playing at home or overseas in next year's Olympic wildcard qualifiers until January 11. Jerome Ascano
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