Is Gilas Pilipinas in danger of giving up on FIBA Asia Cup?
Questions arose about the national team’s participation in a regional secret meeting next month after the Philippine government imposed a travel ban on Indonesia amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The number of new crown cases in Indonesia has risen sharply, hitting a new high of 47,000 cases on July 13 last year alone, which surpassed the previous high of 40,427 cases set a day earlier.
With nearly a month to go before the start of the Asian Cup in Jakarta, a total of more than 30,000 cases have been recorded each day for the past week.
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The travel ban will remain in place until July 31, after which the government, through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), will announce new options after review.
The FIBA Asia Cup will kick off on August 17.
Samahon Basketball Philippines (SBP) said it has not received communication, if any, from FIBA and tournament organizers regarding the changes.
Gilas Pilipinas will return to the Championship after six sweeps in three qualifier windows and a back-to-back win in the final window in Clark, Pampanga last month Korean team.
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COVID-19 cases are increasing not just in Indonesia but across Southeast Asia, with similar spikes in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
The health crisis has already led to the postponement of the 30th SEA Games in Hanoi next year.
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The Gilas Pilipinas team is currently completing quarantine procedures after their FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.
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After a week of rest, the national team is looking to regroup and begin training for what was formerly the FIBA Men’s Asia Championship.