Taiwan team misses FIBA Asia Cup last qualifiers due to player shortage

Taipei-The Taiwan men's basketball team will not compete in the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers this month, because only seven of its 24 players can commit to the games right now, the national governing body said Wednesday.

In a press statement, the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA) said some of the players have injuries, while others are concerned about the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the rule of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), each team entering the qualifiers must have at least 10 players, which means Taiwan would not be able to compete with just seven players, the association said.

The Taiwan team, competing under the name Chinese Taipei, was scheduled to play China on Feb. 18 and 22, Japan on Feb. 19, and Malaysia on Feb. 21, in the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers that are due to start Feb. 17 in Doha, Qatar.

After participating only in the first window, the Taiwan team's standing in Group 3 is 1-1, with three accumulated points.

However, two points are likely to be deducted from the team for skipping the second window, due to the pandemic, and the team could face a ban from future FIBA tournaments for missing the third window, according to CTBA.

After Taiwan dropped out of the second window qualifiers, FIBA fined CTBA 160,000 Swiss francs (NT$5 million), a disciplinary ruling the association has appealed.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel