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Doha replaces Angeles as ACQ Group A bubble host

For the second straight window, Gilas Men will be flying to the Middle East. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Qatar once again stepped in to take over a canceled FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers hosting as the country will now take over the Group A bubble from the Philippines.

On Thursday night, FIBA announced that the Qatari capital of Doha will be the site of the Group A games, meaning the said city will now host three groups including Qatar's own.

Prior to the development, Qatar agreed to take over from Japan as the Group B bubble host.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was initially tasked to host the matches of Groups A and C at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in a bubble mainly patterned to that of the PBA.

However, with a travel ban slapped on three countries that are supposed to be sending their national teams here due to the continuous spread of the new COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom, namely Group A's South Korea and Group C's Australia and Hong Kong, the SBP, despite constant communications with the Department of Foreign Affairs in hopes of keeping the hosting, had no choice but to give it up.

Qatar is not included in the countries listed in the Philippines' UK variant travel ban, making it an ideal replacement host.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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