THE Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team will be playing its next games in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in a “bubble” setting.
The development was announced by the sport’s world governing body, FIBA, which scheduled the games for this November 2020 and then, on February 2021.
Instead of playing in the traditional home-and-away format, FIBA has decided that the qualifiers will be played in a “bubble” format that will have either four or eight teams in it. FIBA Asia will have the final say on the number of teams involved.
Gilas Pilipinas is bracketed in Group A along with Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea. The team currently holds a 1-0 win-loss record following its 100-70 demolition of Indonesia back in February.
The Philippines was scheduled to play on the road against South Korea on November 27 and then, versus Thailand on November 30, before coming home to host Indonesia on February 18 and Korea on February 21 next year.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gilas has yet to resume training. Another glaring concern is FIBA’s schedule runs in conflict with the “bubble” tournament of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), which if given the green light, will start on October 9.
The Gilas though, has a young pool filled with talented players led by former Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Most Valuable Player Rey Anthony Suerte, former Ateneo standouts Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto and Allyn Bulanadi. (JNP)