Indonesian ministries ask Fiba for postponement
Gilas Pilipinas’ remaining Fiba Asia Cup qualifying match for the first window is also facing postponement.
Three Indonesian news outlets have reported late on Saturday that the country’s Ministry of Youth and Sport (Kemenpora) and Ministry of Health
(Kemenkes) have asked its basketball federation, Pebrasi, to call off its matches against South Korea and the Philippines.
The move was “in anticipation of the spread of the [novel] coronavirus,” the reports said.
Gilas is set to play Indonesia in Jakarta on Feb. 23. Its first match, a home game against Thailand, has also been called off last Friday following
the recommendation of the Philippines’ Department of Health.
Pebrasi has yet to make an announcement. Its social media accounts remain in countdown mode.
“This is only going to give us more time to prepare and be better as a team,” Gilas skipper Kiefer Ravena said.
“We’re not going to be unprepared coming into these games,” coach Mark Dickel said.
Fiba, meanwhile, has issued coverage accreditation to reporters on Sunday.
The Nationals are set to depart for Jakarta on Feb. 21.
The Kemenpora and Kemenkes reportedly sent two separate letters, with the former employing strong language.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports … instructs you to postpone the implementation of Fiba Asia Cup 2021 activities in Indonesia,” the Kemenpora letter said.
“There is still a lot of information that is not yet known about COVID-19, such as the mechanism of transmission,” the Kemenkes letter, meanwhile, read. INQ