The Philippines can still field a basketball team in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, according to Asian Games Philippines Chef de Mission (CDM) Richard Gomez.
But the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) stands by its decision to pull out of the basketball competition.
Gomez spoke to reporters at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, saying they haven't sent an official letter to the Indonesia Asian Games 2018 Organizing Committee (INASGOC) informing of the country's withdrawal from the basketball competition.
"We can still send a team because we haven't sent an official withdrawal letter to the Asian Games," said Gomez. "As far as they are concerned, our basketball team is still accredited."
"It's sad for Philippine basketball fans that we won't be able to send a basketball team to the Asian Games. Even if I'm the CDM as much as I want to send a team, if the NSA (national sports association) won't provide a team, there's nothing we can do," he added. "We have so many professional basketball players, hopefully (the SBP) can still send a basketball team in the Asian Games."
ESPN5 reached out to SBP president Al Panlilio shortly after Gomez addressed the media and said the SBP remains firm with its decision not to send a basketball team to the Asian Games anymore.
"We have formally advised the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) already [of the pull-out] who in turn will advise INASGOC," Panlilio said in a short message.
SBP's decision to withdraw from the basketball competition came on July 26, stating that "the time and chance to participate in the 2018 Asian Games would not be optimal."