The Philippines will be hosting another FIBA bubble.
Due to the fluidity of the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all the Group A games scheduled for the first two windows of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers will be played this February 2022 in the Philippines.
The initial schedule had home-and-away meetings between New Zealand and India and Korea and the Philippines on November 25 and 28.
The second window features New Zealand versus Korea and India versus the Philippines on February 25. This will be followed by New Zealand going up against the Philippines and India taking on Korea on February 20.
All of these eight games will now be hosted in the Philippines.
“The FIBA Regional Office Asia has been closely monitoring the pandemic situation in the region and they saw it fit to employ their right to hold the games in a bubble. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, because of the experience we gained in hosting the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, volunteered to host the games in Group A,” said SBP President Al Panlilio.
“We’re excited to welcome Korea back into the country and host New Zealand and India as well.”
New Zealand last played in the Philippines during the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament while India’s national basketball team last visited in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.
“FIBA gave the SBP a commendation for the way we hosted the ACQ window and this led to their decision to take us up on our offer to host again this coming February. We’ll be hosting four teams in total, down from the seven the last time, so we’re confident that we could not only repeat what we accomplished but improve on it,” said Panlilio.
Aside from Group A, Group B will also host two games in a bubble as Japan will battle China on November 27 and 28. Games between Chinese Taipei and Australia will both be played in the February window.
Groups C and D will be played in a regular home-and-away format.