FIBA 'to keep 3x3 OQT as it is' despite COVID-19 scare

Chooks-To-Go president Ronald Mascariñas and FIBA 3x3 head for events and partnerships Ignacio Soriano answer the questions from reporters. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--The inaugural FIBA 3x3 OQT will push through despite the current situation about the novel coronavirus... at least for now.

FIBA 3x3 head for events and partnerships Ignacio Soriano said on Monday that the said tournament, where three spots to the Tokyo Olympics are on the line, will still take place in Bengaluru even if the number of people now affected by the said virus also known as COVID-19 continues to grow.

"For now, the first reaction is to keep the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in India as it is," Soriano said.

The Spanish official is in town to inspect the SM Megamall Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong, the site of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters on May 2-3.

Soriano also said that the Manila Masters will also push through as it stands even if the Philippines already has three confirmed COVID-19 cases with one death.

"We don't have any reason why to have any alarm. As of today, the World Tour in Philippines is secured," he further said.

However, he later bared that FIBA is now looking for another venue for the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Changsha.

While Changsha is far from Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first observed--355 kilometers to be precise--the worsening situation in the entirety of China prompted FIBA to look for other places that will host the event scheduled from May 13-17.

"We're working already in potentially changing the host city for the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup," Soriano continued. "We're working with different hosts, but as of now, nothing is official."

Ronald Mascariñas, the president of Chooks-To-Go, which will host the Manila Masters, expressed interest in bidding for the new hosting rights of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup.

"If you don't find any host, we can host that as well," Mascariñas, who was also present in the press conference that took place at the Bounty Agro Ventures office here, told Soriano.

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