April 23, 2018, 7:59 am
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SBP buckles down to work for 2023 WC

AFTER winning the hosting rights for the 2023 FIBA World Cup together with Japan and Indonesia, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio admitted yesterday “now the hard work begins.”

“We will have to form a working group right away to look (at) how China will run the 2019 FIBA World Cup,” Panlilio said during a press conference formally announcing the accomplishment at the Crowne Plaza ballroom in Mandaluyong.

“We want to go there to see the things that they are doing as well as the mistakes they are doing so we can apply these lessons in our own organizing of the World Cup,” Panlilio said.

Also present at the briefing were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who was a member of the national delegation at the FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland last Saturday; SBP president emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, a member of the International Basketball Federation Central Board, and SBP vice president Robbie Puno.

Pangilinan, who was also with the hosting team, said that he also got a piece of advice from FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann after the successful bid “that we (SBP) should set up our local organizing committee right away even if the tournament is seven to six years away. We have a lot of work to do.”

But he declined to mention the price tag in the country’s co-hosting of the world basketball showcase.

When the country first bid for the event in 2015, the Philippines would have paid 8 million euros (roughly P460 million) as hosting fee, excluding the 50,000 euros (P2.9 million) for application fee.

It was also estimated then that it would cost a hefty P1.5 billion to organize the competition, which now will have the top 32 countries from all over the world vying for the prestigious prize.

Pangilinan said that since Japan and Indonesia are partners in the venture “the Philippines will shoulder half of the hosting rights fee while the two other countries will split the difference.”

When pressed about the price for hosting the FIBA World Cup, Cayetano came to Pangilinan’s rescue and said “that if we are spending a million dollars (for the hosting) we also have a million opportunities to project the country’s image to the world.”

Pangilinan said he was more concerned about the venues for the championship after the FIBA evaluation group raised some issues about the Smart Araneta Coliseum when it inspected the facilities last October.

“We are now trying to thresh this matter out with Araneta management. But I believe we will have the infrastructure.  If worse comes to worst we will have the Mall of Asia and the Philippine Sports Arena (in Bocaue, Bulacan) but ideally we need three venues,” he noted.
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