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Clark bubble crucial for Korea
The FIBA penalized the South Koreans for their failure to participate in the second window held in Bahrain last November, including a hefty fine of 160,000 Swiss Francs (P8.7 million) plus a two-point deduction in ranking points.
STAR/ File

Clark bubble crucial for Korea

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2021 - 12:00am

Gilas seeks to keep perfect slate

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas will face a South Korean team that’s in a must-win situation in next month’s FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers as a result of sanctions slapped on the Asian powerhouse by the world basketball body.

The FIBA penalized the South Koreans for their failure to participate in the second window held in Bahrain last November, including a hefty fine of 160,000 Swiss Francs (P8.7 million) plus a two-point deduction in ranking points.

With this development, the Koreans’ four-point output in Group A will be slashed to two, effectively sending them down to No. 4 and last place in the bracket.

Gilas currently shows the way with six points built around a perfect 3-0 card even as Indonesia (four points on 1-2) and Thailand (four points on 0-4) would be leapfrogging the Koreans.

Each win is awarded two points and a loss is equivalent to one point.

Switzerland-based FIBA last Tuesday said half of the points deducted from Korea’s tally or one point will be “deferred to each national federation fully complying with its participation obligation in the next FIBA official competition.”

FIBA said it’s also doing the same for half of Korea’s fine or CHF 80,000.

Aside from Korea, FIBA also sanctioned China and Chinese Taipei for similar reasons.

Korea’s penalty was meted a month before the third and final window of the qualifiers blasts off in a bubble setup in Clark.

The host Filipinos and their Asian rival Koreans will mix it up twice in Clark, first in the opener on Feb. 18 and then on final day on Feb. 22.

Because of their non-participation in the Manama bubble window, the Koreans will also play Indonesia (Feb. 19) and Thailand (Feb. 20) in Clark to complete their six-game assignment.

The top two teams after the qualifiers’ three windows will advance to the FIBA Asia Cup slated Aug. 16-28 in Indonesia. The Indonesians are already seeded into the 24-team Continental event as hosts.

GILAS PILIPINAS
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