Philippine basketball has taken big hit recently due to strained Philippines-Taiwan relations. The Philippine National Basketball Team has had its invitation to the William Jones Cup withdrawn by the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA). The Jones Cup is an annual international basketball tournament named after Renato William Jones, a basketball promoter and one of the founders of FIBA.
The withdrawal of the invitation comes amid tensions between the Philippines and Taiwan that sprung from the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard in “contested waters” on May 9. There have been reports of at least three Filipino citizens in Taiwan who have been victims of retaliatory violence in the weeks following the fisherman’s death. The CTBA allegedly withdrew the Philippines’ invitation because they could not be responsible for the safety of the Philippine athletes.
The Philippine team was hoping to use the tournament as a “tune-up exercise” in preparation for the upcoming FIBA Asia Championships that will be held in Manila, Philippines this August. The Philippines won the tournament last year, defeating Iran in the finals.