The Doha window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers has been postponed.
According to the Saudi Arabian Basketball Federation, the Qatar Basketball Federation has decided to move the dates for the Qualifiers set from February 18 to 22.
Qatar will enter a 60-day lockdown starting Saturday due to the rising cases of coronavirus.
“The Asian Executive Office issued a decision to cancel Window Three of the Asian Basketball Qualifiers to be held in the State of Qatar, which includes Saudi Arabia-Qatar-Syria-Iran, based on the Qatari Federation’s apology for hosting the latest developments of the Coronavirus, and tomorrow the decision to determine the date and time of its establishment will be announced,” read the SBF’s tweet.
FIBA has yet to release an official statement about the matter but if true, then such a halt is indeed tough for teams like Gilas Pilipinas, which is supposed to fly to Doha Saturday, Feb. 13.
The Filipino dribblers, who are sitting atop Group A with a clean 3-0 record, are set to face long-time rivals South Korea on the 18th and 22nd and Southeast Asian foes Indonesia on the 19th.
Aside from Group A, the Doha bubble will also host Group B consisting of China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Malaysia; and Group E featuring Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
This latest development comes after Chinese Taipei and Malaysia both decided to withdraw from the third window.
The Taiwanese decided to pull out as it could not field at least 10 players for the meet while the Malaysian federation adhered to the recommendation of its country’s sports council not to send a team due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, FIBA postponed the matches between Guam and Hong Kong in Bahrain due to the restrictions imposed by the host country due to COVID-19. The two were set to play on Feb. 19 and 21 in Manama.