Following the announcement of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) last Friday night that the Philippines was selected to re-host the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers 3rd Window, the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said that the country’s hosting of the regional sporting event is dependent upon whether or not the country’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will allow such hosting.
“Antayin natin, and this is an IATF decision to make kung papayagan yan,” said the country’s health department.
Currently, FIBA is yet to release the date as to when the FIBA qualifiers will transpire. However, it is expected that the participating teams’ basketball players will fly to the host country to compete in the tourney.
“Fixing the dates of the ‘windows to be created’ under this unexpected and unordinary situation will still need about 10 days to be finalized,” said FIBA Asia executive director Hagop Khajirian.
Meanwhile, the DOH added that the DOH has yet to receive any protocols from FIBA and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) at the time of writing. The said protocol will be used and followed in staging a FIBA qualifiers bubble in the country.
It is also worth noting that last January, the SBP has cancelled the Philippines’ staging of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in February due to the country’s travel ban brought about by the new COVID-19 variant.
Initially, the Philippines was set to host Groups A and C of the third and final window of the qualifiers from February 18-24 in Clark, Pampanga.