Double trouble as SL out of FIBA Asia Cup Pre-Qualifiers
Sri Lanka men’s 5×5 basketball team’s chance of playing at the second straight and last round of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Pre-Qualifiers to be held in Mongolia, met a dead end after they skipped the first pre-qualifer matches in May due to financial constraints.
Chandana Liyanage, Secretary of Sri Lanka Basketball Federation (SLBF) said that the decision to withdraw from the first qualifier was largely due to the country’s economic crisis.
“For February round of qualifiers they haven’t invited and selected us because we didn’t take part in the last qualifiers. They have decided they will be inviting only the already-participated teams,” Liyanage reasoned out.
Adding that they have not officially declared or announced, but they will be going ahead with the same set of teams, who played the opening round.
“We’re the only country who actually did not take part in the tournament,” Liyanage revealed.
The first time though, only subsequently to SLBF was granted an exemption upon requesting, the sports body had secured funds, little over half of the budget, from Sri Lankan expatriates in Qatar, where the opening round was worked off.
In a chain reaction, this has now caused a damage and blow for the basketballers, who’s next foreign assignment will be the FIBA Asia Cup 3×3 Tournament in Singapore, from March 27 to April 4, next year. SLBF has already issued their confirmation, and selection trials are to be held soon.
Responding to whether they couldn’t they have made a special case, since it was a common crisis, Liyanage ruled out that FIBA Asia is strict with their decision making, and it’s sealed. In the meantime, SLBF is also contemplating hosting the SABA 5×5 Men’s Championship, subject to the normalcy of the economy next year.