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PH chosen as FIBA ACQ host

Right after the PBA, the AUF Sports Arena will host another bubble. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Right after the PBA bubble came to a close, Angeles is set to host another basketball bubble.

FIBA announced on Friday that the said city will host the February window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

The setup for the ACQ bubble is likely to be similar to the PBA bubble, in which the athletes and officials will be billeted at a hotel situated within the Clark Economic Zone.

During the recently concluded PBA season, the Quest Hotel inside the said metropolitan area was chosen as the official residence of the bubble.

Everyone present at the bubble will be then transported strictly back and forth from the hotel to the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in the city proper.

Mandatory RT-PCR tests will be done prior to entry of the athletes and officials.

"The most important criteria in choosing the hosts, like for the previous window, was health and travel guarantees and compliance with FIBA health protocols, including testing and controlled entry into a secure environment," FIBA said in a statement.

This means Gilas Pilipinas Men will host the final set of games in Group A of the qualifiers.

Gilas Men will face South Korea and Indonesia in the third window, although the number of times Gilas Men will take on South Korea will depend on FIBA's ruling on the latter's decision to beg off from the second window due to COVID-19 concerns.

FIBA also announced that the games in Group C will take place in the so-called "Clark bubble" as well, which means the Philippines will host a FIBA-sanctioned game involving Australia for the first time since the infamous Gilas Men-Australia brawl at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue on July 2, 2018.

Australia is joined by New Zealand, Guam, and Hong Kong in Group C.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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