FIBA to Gilas: "Join OQT or else"

FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--It turns out, the SBP has to send a Gilas Pilipinas team to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament if it doesn't want to be slapped with sanctions.

Section 96 of Book 2 of the FIBA Internal Regulations states that a national federation which sends a representative in a certain FIBA-sanctioned tournament which serves as a qualifier for another tourney is obliged to send a representative in the higher-order competition should the federation qualify.

The ruling says in verbatim, "All national federations whose teams are taking part in main official competitions of FIBA must provide to FIBA or to the appropriate FIBA body within the same deadline as the List of Players a declaration signed by the President and/or the Secretary General of the national member federation confirming that by taking part in any official competition qualifying for another official competition, the national member federation commits to register its national team(s) and to ensure their participation in the competition to which they have qualified."

Gilas Pilipinas qualified for the OQT after making the semifinals of the FIBA Asia Championship, eventually winning the silver.

However, the SBP got into hot waters when President Manny Pangilinan, who is a member of the FIBA Central Board, suggested that Gilas should skip the OQT scheduled for July next year.

Should the SBP agrees with the outgoing head's suggestion, FIBA may hand a stiff penalty on the organization.

"A failure to abide by the obligations to register and/or participate in the competition for which a national team has qualified may result in sanctions being imposed on the relevant national federation," the rule on the national team's participation continued.

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