'Taiwan withdrew invite for Gilas' safety'
MANILA, Philippines – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will not appeal the decision of the Jones Cup organizers to withdraw their invitation to the defending champions Gilas Pilipinas.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA) expressed regret in revoking the invitation while voicing concern for the safety of the Philippine national team.
“We’ll just go by their letter. Mas alam nila ang sitwasyon dun. Sinabi nila na delikado pa ang sitwasyon for our delegation, pakinggan natin. Sila ang nandun,” Barrios said in an interview with Spin.ph’s Snow Badua.
Taiwan and the Philippines are currently locked in a diplomatic row over the shooting over the Batanes coast, and the CTBA fears that this might have repercussions on Gilas’ participation in the 2013 Jones Cup.
Although tensions between the Philippines and Taiwan are starting to die down, Barrios said the Taiwanese officials are more familiar with the political climate in their turf.
“Napansin ko nga na medyo humuhupa na `yung tension, pero sila [Taiwanese] ang nakakaalam kung ano ang mas safe para sa team natin,” said Barrios.
Gilas Pilipinas earlier planned to defend the Jones Cup title as part of their preparations fro the FIBA Asia Championship.