Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Sonny Barrios announced on Friday the postponement of the Philippines vs Thailand first window game of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Cup qualifiers on February 20 at the Araneta Coliseum because of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease outbreak.
“At 7:55 p.m. [on Thursday], the SBP received word from the FIBA Asia postponing the Philippines game vs Thailand on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at the Araneta Coliseum in consideration of the Philippine Department of Health Advisory against organizing events with mass attendance as a precaution regarding the threat of the coronavirus epidemic,” Barrios said in a text message to the media.
“At this point in time, we still do not have the revised schedule for the Gilas vs Thailand home game so please keep in place all the preparation that we have done as sometime soon, we will use them for the said game.”
The SBP, however, said the game against Indonesia in Jakarta on Sunday, February 23 will proceed as scheduled.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) suggested the postponement of sporting events in the country as a precaution against the coronavirus.
“The Philippine Olympic Committee stands behind the government in its precautionary measure of advising everyone to desist from organizing, participating or attending events where big crowds are expected,” said POC President Abraham Tolentino in a statement.