MANILA, Philippines — The stalled third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers will likely happen in June, per statements made by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios.
Initially scheduled for February in Doha, Qatar, Gilas Pilipinas' remaining games in the qualifiers will happen much later than planned.
"Ang tinitignan nila is June 14 to 20. Sa ngayon yun yung tentative schedule. Di pa sila maglalabas ng official release pero yun ang tinitignan ngayon," said Barrios on Noli Eala's Power and Play.
After cancelling its hosting of the qualifiers in February due to travel bans amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Clark has been re-awarded hosting rights for the bubble competition.
Rising cases of COVID-19 prompted then-hosts Doha to cancel the scheduled bubble tournament in early February.
Gilas Pilipinas had undergone bubble training in Calamba, Laguna in preparation for the competition but ceased activity after the cancellation of the Doha bubble.
Clark is expected to play host to two groups, including Gilas' Group A including Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Per Barrios, the SBP has revived its talks with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority headed by Sec. Vince Dizon in making the needed preparations for the pocket tournament in June.
"Nag-reach out ulit tayo and very positive and very supportive naman yung office nila Sec. Vince na mag-host tayo sa June," Barrios said.
Gilas is undefeated in Group A with remaining games against Korea and Indonesia.
FIBA has yet to make formal announcements with regards to the remaining set of games for the Asia Cup, with only one of the six groups having completed their match ups.
Only Lebanon, Bahrain, and hosts Indonesia have formally qualified for the Asia Cup set in August.
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