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SBP is keeping fingers crossed

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is keeping its fingers crossed that FIBA Asia will adjust the staging of the Asian championships so the Philippines’ woes over scheduling doesn’t affect its participation in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.

The FIBA Asia Cup (formerly FIBA Asia and Asian Basketball Confederation championships) is scheduled to take place from Aug. 15-27 in a venue yet to be determined although newcomers Australia and New Zealand are keen on serving as co-hosts.

The SEAG in Kuala Lumpur is penciled for Aug. 19-31 and the SBP, through executive director Sonny Barrios, said the association ahs formally informed the FIBA Asia hierarchy about its concerns.

“We are waiting for FIBA Asia’s formal advice on how sked issue will be addressed,” Barrios said in a text message yesterday. “(But) they are aware of the situation (of the Philippines taking part in the SEAG at around the same time).”

The FIBA Asia Cup is a major event for the SBP as it will serve as a qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World where the SBP is eager to join once again following the breakthrough performance of the Gilas squad some years back.

Barrios doesn’t want to give a timetable as to when the FIBA Asia will decide on the matter.

“Unfortunately, we cannot predict FIBA Asia’s decision on the matter…we can only follow up,” said Barrios.

Gilas-Pilipinas is on the cusp of returning to training mode with the naming of 12 players from the PBA that will beef up the 12-man cast named earlier.

Chot Reyes has been assigned once again to call the shots as the SBP plans to blow the opposition away in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association championships, which will serve as a qualifier to the FIBA Asia Cup.