Big Dome venue of SEABA tiff

Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - February 19, 2017 - 10:56pm

MANILA, Philippines - Gilas Pilipinas defends its crown in the Southeast Asian region and seeks a spot in the FIBA Asia Cup late in the year in the 2017 SEABA Championship at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on May 12-18.

The confirmation of the SEABA booking at the Big Dome was announced by national coach Chot Reyes on his Twitter account Friday night.

  The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas had also considered earlier Cebu as venue of the SEABA event which Gilas must play and win to gain a berth in the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut.

The Asia Cup is the first tourney featuring the merger of Oceania powers Australia and New Zealand with the top Asian teams.

Sixteen teams compete in the Asia Cup with the top 14 qualifying in Division A of the new home-and-away FIBA World Cup qualification competition.

Aside from host Lebanon, Australia and New Zealand, other teams which have booked berths in the Asia Cup are Iran, Jordan, Syria and Iraq from West Asia, and Qatar from the Gulf region.

Still to be determined are qualifiers from Southeast Asia, Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia.

Traditional Asian top contenders China, Korea, Japan and Chinese Taipei belong to the East Asian region.

The Philippines is the undisputed kingpin in Southeast Asia, with Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia being the toughest rivals for runner-up honors.



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