SBP withdraws national basketball team from Asian Games

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced that it will no longer send a team to the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

In a statement on Thursday evening, the governing body of Philippine basketball said "the time and chance to participate in the 2018 Asian Games would not be optimal."

The SBP said that the reason behind the sudden change of heart is "to allow our national team and organization to regroup, prepare for the process of appealing the FIBA Disciplinary Panel's recent decision, and aim for sustainable success in future tournaments."

Last week, FIBA handed down fines to SBP and Gilas Pilipinas players for their involvement in the July 2 brawl with the Australian national team. As recent as Thursday afternoon, the SBP and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), officially announced the participation of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the Asian Games as replacements to the Gilas players.

Coach Yeng Guiao of the NLEX Road Warriors was tapped as head coach of the team composing of a core of ROS players, as well as possible additions of Gilas Cadets, NLEX big men, and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson.

The SBP was rushing to finalize the lineup since the deadline for submission had already passed.

"We thank Rain or Shine, especially to its owners Terry Que and Raymond Yu, as well as NLEX coach Yeng Guiao and Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia, for expressing their willingness to represent our nation in the upcoming Asian Games," the statement read.

The SBP went on to apologize to the organizers of the Asian Games, Filipino fans, and to the Asian basketball community for the sudden withdrawal.

"The SBP resolves to improve its systems, and to prepare programs that will better ensure respectable performances of our teams internationally, of which our country can be truly proud," the statement closed.