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Friday, December 8, 2023

PH set to face New Zealand again in FIBA qualifying tilt

The Philippines will be paired against New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong in Group B of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Gilas legend Gabe Norwood and Iran’s cage icon Hamed Haddadi were special guests when the FIBA Asia Cup came up with the drawing of lots for the first window set to start on Feb. 22 next year.

Haddadi and Norwood reminisced about their heydays on the FIBA floor, especially in the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup when Iran beat the Philippines in the final at the Mall of Asia.

Gabe Norwood (FIBA)

The old qualifiers’ format will again be followed as the 24 teams will be divided into six groups of four.

Each team plays the other three teams on a home-and-away basis over three windows, with two games per window.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup 2025, making a total of 12 teams.

The six 3rd-place teams from each group will be given another opportunity as they play in a final qualifying tournament.

The top 4 teams from this tilt will qualify for the quadrennial continental event.

With the newest development at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, however, it remains to be seen if Team Philippines will carry the Gilas Pilipinas brand.

And other important questions that are yet to be answered.

Who will be the coach and team management? What will be the PBA’s extent of support?

The Philippines had just hosted the FIBA World Cup topped by Germany and currently, Asian nations are again up for battle for supremacy in the coming basketball competition in the Hangzhou Asiad starting Sept. 23.

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