MANILA, Philippines – In a stunning last-minute development, the South Korean national basketball team has withdrawn from the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asia qualifiers due to a late positive COVID-19 case on Tuesday, February 22.
The Korean Basketball Association (KBA) broke the news to local outlet Jumpball after one player tested positive just before their scheduled departure last Monday, February 21.
After an emergency meeting, the KBA ultimately decided to pull the plug on the campaign altogether for the safety of everyone involved, as the positive player participated in a scrimmage against Korea University the same day he got tested.
The Korean national team was supposed to depart this Tuesday at 6:20 pm, Philippine time, for Manila, where they were scheduled to face Gilas Pilipinas on Thursday, February 24, and Monday, February 28.
For now, the Philippines still has one match each against India and New Zealand, but it is now up to FIBA if there will be any last-minute changes.
Prior to the pullout, the Korean Basketball League (KBL) was already having trouble with this COVID-19 surge, as a reported 91 players were tagged positive in the latest round of testing. – Rappler.com