MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas will host Thailand at a later date for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers as their game was postponed due to the threat of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Philippines was supposed to open the first window of the qualifiers against Thailand on February 20 at home, but FIBA announced the match is going to be delayed.
Also postponed are the February 21 game between Japan and China and the February 24 contest between China and Malaysia.
Gilas Pilipinas' road game against Indonesia on February 23, barring any new development, will push through.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino said the organization supports any decision to cancel or suspend sports activities to "mitigate the possible spread" of the virus.
"The Philippine Olympic Committee stands behind [the] government in its precautionary measure of advising everyone to desist from organizing, participating, or attending events where big crowds are expected," he said.
"We must always put the safety of athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators at the very top of our priorities."
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.