2023 FIBA World Cup co-host Indonesia faces big hurdle

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    CO-HOSTING the 2023 FIBA World Cup but not being able to play in the tourney?

    This scenario gnaws at Indonesia after the world basketball federation or FIBA announced that the predominantly Muslim country can only gain a berth in the global cage spectacle if and when it finishes in the top eight of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup, adding the decision was made by its executive committee.

    “FIBA’s Executive Committee has determined the sporting target for co-host Indonesia to be granted automatic qualification to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023,” FIBA said in a press release last Monday night.

    “The men’s national team needs to be ranked among the top eight teams at the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 in order to receive qualification.”

    Having qualified in last year’s edition of the World Cup in China, the Philippines and Japan, the two other countries co-hosting the Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, 2023 joust, had bagged outright slots.

    “The two other co-host nations of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, Japan and the Philippines, who both played in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, have received direct qualification,” said FIBA.

    “Indonesia will get a chance to make history through the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup 2021 next year.”

    Indonesia’s veteran Serbian coach Rajko Toroman, a former Gilas Pilipinas strategist, has his work cut out for him.

    The Indon five absorbed two straight losses at the hands of South Korea 76-109 last Feb. 20, and 70-100 to Gilas last Feb. 24 in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers that is on hold due to the health risks and uncertainties posed by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

    Only two teams from the group will advance outright to the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup with the third placers from the six groups competing for the final two spots.

    The 2023 World Cup’s group phase will be played in the three countries.

    Manila will host the playoff games and the gold medal match

    “For the first time in the competition’s history, the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, will be staged in more than one host country. The Group Phase will take place in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines, with the Final Phase to follow in the Philippine capital city of Manila. The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will once again feature 32 national teams from around the world, with the expanded format adopted for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, FIBA’s biggest event to date,” added FIBA.

    “Qualification for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will take place from November 2021 to February 2023, with 80 national teams competing for a spot in the World Cup.”