By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
The Philippines will play in Group A of the Asia/Oceania region of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Qualifiers. This was known following the official draw held in Switzerland on Tuesday.
Gilas Pilipinas is bracketed with New Zealand, Korea and India in the first round of the qualifying phase with games set to begin in November this year.
The country, however, is already assured of a spot in the World Cup, being one of the three host countries along with Japan and Indonesia, but the national team has made it known that it will go in the qualifiers seeking to do well as part of its preparation for the 2023 basketball event.
For Asia/Oceania, six spots are up for grabs in the 32-team field that will see action in the World Cup.
As hosts, the Philippines and Japan are automatically qualified but will play in the Asian Qualifiers first round and second round, advancing to the next phase as automatically qualified.
Indonesia, for its part, needs to be ranked among the top eight teams at the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 in order to receive automatic qualification as per the decision of FIBA’s Executive Committee.
New Zealand is the highest FIBA-ranked team in Group A at number 25, followed by Korea (29th), the Philippines (31st) and India (78th).
The rest of the groupings have Australia, China, Japan and Chinese Taipei in Group B; Jordan, Lebanon, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia in Group C; and Iran, Kazakhstan, Syria and Bahrain in Group D.
FIBA said each qualification window will last nine days, with the windows running until February 2023. The national sides play home and away games across each of these event windows.
The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup is scheduled to take place from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10 with the Group Phase taking place in all three host countries, and the Final Phase of the tournament happening in the Philippines.