MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas secured its spot in the second round of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers after the world governing body for basketball officially declared Korea disqualified on Friday, March 4.
With the top three squads from each of four Asian Qualifiers groups qualifying for the second round, the Philippines and fellow Group A teams New Zealand and India advanced automatically.
Korea will no longer vie for a World Cup berth due to the decision, which stemmed from its failure to send a team to the February window of the qualifiers here due to a positive COVID-19 result.
The Indians benefitted the most from the Koreans’ disqualification as they move on to the next round despite racking up a 0-3 record.
Unbeaten in three games, the Tall Blacks lead Group A, while the Filipinos trail at second place with a 1-1 card.
The Philippines, though, will still play its remaining first-round matches: a June 30 clash against India and a July 3 battle against New Zealand.
Over in Group B, Australia (3-0) and World Cup co-host Japan (1-3) also advanced, while Jordan and Lebanon qualified from Group C with identical 3-1 records.
Kazakhstan (4-0) and Iran (3-1) punched their second-round tickets from Group D.
Three more second-round berths are up for grabs, with China, Chinese Taipei, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Syria, and Bahrain contending for those remaining spots in their respective groups.
After the first round, the 12 qualified teams will be split into two groups of six squads for the second round. – Rappler.com