The Philippines will receive a tough welcome as one of the hosts of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, as Gilas Pilipinas has been slotted in with New Zealand, India, and perennial rival South Korea in the Asian qualifiers draw on Tuesday, August 31.
Co-host Japan, who was partnered with the Philippines in the draw to determine who joins Group A or B, was thrown into the latter group that features Chinese Taipei and powerhouses Australia and China.
No matter what happens in the Asian qualifiers, however, both the Philippines and Japan have already qualified for the World Cup proper. The first qualifying window of the first round is scheduled on November 20 to 30, 2021.
The second window will run from February 21 to March 1, 2022, while the final window is slated from June 27 to July 5, just before the rescheduled 2021 Asia Cup tips off.
The second round featuring the top 12 teams will then start with the first window on August 22 to 30, 2022, the second on November 7 to 15, and finally, the third on February 20 to 28, 2023.
The World Cup proper will then start on August 25, 2023 and will run until September 10. The Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena, and Philippine Arena have all been tapped as playing venues.
Because the Philippines and Japan are already in, only six World Cup spots are up for grabs in the Asian qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the third host country Indonesia, due to a lower federation rank, will have to reach the quarterfinals of the Asia Cup that it will also host in order to earn an outright World Cup berth. If it succeeds, Asia’s World Cup slots will then be down to five.
Indonesia is slated in Group C along with Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.
Lastly, Iran, Kazakhstan, Syria, and Bahrain comprise Group D.
Games will be played in a home-and-away format. Whether or not fans will be allowed in venues is likely up to the home countries due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. – Rappler.com