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SBP to bid for SEABA Championship hosting

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas may play to qualify for the FIBA Asia tournament with homecourt advantage.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has signified its intention to bid to host this year's SEABA Championship, the federation's executive director Sonny Barrios confirmed to Rappler on Saturday, January 7.

Barrios said SBP expressed its interest last month, before the December 30 deadline, but had not heard back from SEABA yet.

"Unfortunately, we have no idea when SEABA will decide on host country," Barrios said via text message.

The tournament is expected to take place some time either in March or April. No specific dates have been announced.

The country last hosted the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July but Gilas failed to qualify after losing both matches to France and New Zealand.

The Philippine national men's basketball team is eyeing a return to the FIBA Asia Cup later this year, which under the new FIBA calendar serves as a qualifier for the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China.

Comebacking national team coach Chot Reyes will lead the team made up of former cadets and veteran PBA players with the ultimate goal of making the 2020 Olympics. – Rappler.com