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SBP hoping for FIBA approval to host next FIBA AC qualifiers in Clark

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Gilas Pilipinas tops Thailand in FIBA Asia Cup qualifier (1:51)

Gilas Pilipinas crushed Thailand, 93-61, to open the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. (1:51)

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio bared on Friday that they have submitted a formal offer to FIBA regarding the hosting of the February window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

Panlilio explained that SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios had started the ball rolling, and is working on the finer details of the group phase hosting.

The SBP will be offering to host not only Group A, which includes the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, but also other interested groups as well.

If FIBA accepts the Philippines' offer, the SBP will most likely host the international delegations inside Clark Freeport Zone, and play at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center, where the PBA bubble is being held.

"We're offering Clark as a bubble, so not only for our group phase, if they need another site where we can also host another group phase," said Panlilio at the conclusion of the POC elections.

"A single group is four, and we said, we can handle two. In fact, we can even handle three. Because in the PBA we have 12 teams for a span of six weeks. And this is just gonna be maybe less than a week, right?" he added.

FIBA is expected to respond at the conclusion of the November bubble held in Manama, Bahrain.

Currently, due to the staging of the PBA bubble, an all-cadet team was fielded against the professional Thais for this window, but the SBP is still undecided on the composition of the squad in February, since the PBA players are available on that date.

"So maybe again, maybe some players from this team that's playing in Bahrain and maybe some veterans, PBA veterans. So I'm sure, we'll try to experiment for the second window, especially when we're playing Korea, and Indonesia. So we want to be a bit tougher," explained the newly-elected POC first vice president.

With regard to South Korea skipping this window, Panlilio opined that FIBA will decide on the Koreans' fate after some time.

It is still not known whether their scheduled matches in this window will be forfeited, since other countries like China were also unable to participate in the two previous windows as well.

"I don't think they'll decide now. I think they'll decide when the tournament is over, and when Korea has really not shown up or actually forfeited the games. But it's up to FIBA, and I think they're also looking at the big picture," said the SBP president.

"It's a decision that will impact a lot of countries, and I think they're also looking at what that impact will be into the World Cup. Because the FIBA Asia qualifiers, the top six or top eight go into the qualifying for the World Cup, right? So it is a process. I think they're looking at it, assessing it as a whole," furthered Panlilio.