By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE disciplinary panel of world basketball governing body International Basketball Federation (FIBA) moved to fine countries which failed to participate in the second window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers (ACQ) last November.
In a decision released on Tuesday night, FIBA said sanctions were to be handed down on the national federations of Korea, China, and Chinese Taipei for their squads’ no-show in the calendared leg of the qualifiers.
Korea, which plays in Group A along with the Philippines, decided not to send a team in Manama, Bahrain, for the second window, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
It was the lone team in the group which failed to show up, with the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand all managing to send their nationals.
Korea was supposed to play twice in the second window, first against the Philippines and then Indonesia.
China and Chinese Taipei were also unable to send their teams in Group B, forcing the cancellation of the second window matches in the group altogether.
For their no-show, Korea, China, and Chinese Taipei were slapped a disciplinary fine of 160,000 Swiss francs (P8.6 million), half of it (80,000 Swiss francs) will be deferred to each national federation fully complying with its participation obligation in the next FIBA official competition.
Also, they will be given a two-point deduction in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers, half of the sanction — one-point deduction — will be given to each national federation playing in the next window.
For Korea (2-0), that means the four points it got for its two victories will be slashed by half to two points with one point each being given to the Philippines (3-0), Indonesia (1-2), and Thailand (0-4).
The Koreans will have a chance to regain some ground in the qualifiers in the third and final window to be held at Clark City in Angeles, Pampanga, next month.
They play four matches — two against the Philippines (Feb. 18 and 22) and one each versus Indonesia (Feb. 19) and Thailand (Feb. 20).
Clark will also host matches in Group C, composed of New Zealand, Australia, Guam, and Hong Kong.
Gilas Pilipinas has started preparation for said competition, sending a pool of cadet members and Philippine Basketball Association players to the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, to begin their “bubble” training.
China and Chinese Taipei, along with Japan and Malaysia, meanwhile, will play in Tokyo, which will host the third window for Group B.
In the qualifiers, the top two teams for each group in the end book an outright spot in the Asia Cup later this year in Indonesia.