GILAS Pilipinas will play in Doha, Qatar as the national basketball team continues its campaign in the February window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers (ACQ).
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said in a statement on Thursday that it received communication from FIBA that “the remaining Group A games will now be hosted in Doha, Qatar as announced by FIBA Executive Director for Asia Hagop Khajirian”.
“We are thankful to FIBA and the Qatar Basketball Federation for all their efforts to make sure that the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers for Group A will push through,” SBP President Al Panlilio added.
Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines make up Group A.
Gilas leads the standings in Group A with a 3-0 slate.
The Philippines was the original host of the Group A and Group C action of the ACQ, but SBP begged off from hosting the event in Clark, Pampanga due to the country’s travel ban.
The original playing dates of February 18 to 22 of Group A will remain in Doha.
“We would have loved to host Groups A and C in Clark but things beyond our control made it necessary to adjust our plans and we thank everyone for their flexibility,” said Panlilio.
Doha was supposed to host the Group E teams Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Qatar only, but with the Philippines and Japan withdrawing from hosting the Group A and Group B games, respectively, Doha picked up the slack for both groups.
Competing in Group B are China, Taiwan, Japan, and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, there has been no word from FIBA as to which country will be hosting Group C teams New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Guam.