By Kevin Sox
Gilas Pilipinas men was drawn in the same group with Asian arch-nemesis Korea and Southeast Asian neighbors Thailand and Indonesia in the draw for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
A total of 24 teams made it to the qualifiers. They have been divided into 6 groups of 4 nations each.
Only 16 teams are getting passes to the prestigious 2021 FIBA Asia Cup, the tournament to determine the continental champion.
Countries will play their groupmates in three separate windows for the qualification process, similar to what FIBA did for the 2019 Basketball World Cup.
Windows will commence in November 2019, February 2020, and November 2020. The top 2 teams from each of the 6 groups directly qualify to the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 proper.
The remaining 6 third-ranked teams battle for the last four spots in a qualifying tournament.
Being 1 of the 16 teams in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup will mean automatic spots to the draw for the next qualification process for the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup.
Australia won the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon.