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SBP puts best foot forward

This is also a preparatory for the 2023 World Cup

Bea Micaller

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The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will apply the safety protocols and practices the Philippine Basketball Association did during the All-Filipino when it hosts the third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in February 2021.

SBP president Al Panlilio stressed that being granted the hosting rights for the February window will also boost the country’s preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup which it will co-host with Japan and Indonesia.

“We always wanted to host events here. We wanted to bring events to our Filipino countrymen. Unfortunately, we don’t have an audience next year,” said Panlilio during a joint press conference with Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and Clark Development Corporation on Saturday.

“This is also a preparatory for the 2023 World Cup,” Panlilio said.

The Philippines, along with Japan, Bahrain and Qatar, will stage the remaining games from 18 to 22 February 2021 with the country set to host both Group A and C.

Games in the Philippines will take place in Clark City, where the PBA held its 2020 Philippine Cup.

Panlilio reiterated that they will adopt all the best practices of PBA during the bubble.

“We had feedback from teams and Quest Hotel said half of the hotel can be upgraded and Quest already said they can upgrade more rooms so that all teams that will come in February will be using the same quality,” Panlilio said.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios shared the same sentiment.

“When FIBA asked us if we could host under the bubble, they were looking at the arrangement of the PBA bubble as is. The understanding is, we will host under the same conditions within the PBA bubble.”

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