The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced on Friday that it will do away with the home-and-away format for the remainder of its continental cup qualifiers due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“All the games of both windows should be conducted in “bubbles”, instead of home and away games, with the agreement of the host public health authorities and in compliance with FIBA health protocols,” FIBA said in a statement.
FIBA will designate one host city for the bubble.
“The hosts will be decided at the regional level and will be announced in due course,” it added.
FIBA said one bubble will converge one qualifying group, which means GilasPilipinas Men, Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea, which make up Group A of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, would be secluded in just one area.
However, FIBA also said it is possible that one bubble will have two qualifying groups in it.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Feb. 20 battle between Gilas Men and Thailand at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
FIBA has yet to decide on when the game will be rescheduled, although it is expected that their first-round meeting may take place just before the regular November window, where both teams will face off again.
Before the scheduled Gilas Men-Thailand rematch on Nov. 30, Gilas Men will face South Korea first on Nov. 27 in a battle pitting unbeaten teams and heavy favorites to top Group A.*PNA