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MVP, SBP continue to push FIBA World Cup hosting bid

Gilas fans in this FIBA.com file photo.

MANILA, Philippines – Business mogul/sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan led a powerful Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas delegation that left for Mies, Switzerland Thursday to make another push for the multi-nations hosting bid of the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

SBP president Al Panlilio, SBP chairman Sen. Sonny Angara, Ricky Vargas and Rep. Pia Cayetano, representing the Philippine government, are with the group that will have a two-day conference with top FIBA officials.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios was the group’s advanced party who flew to Switzerland Wednesday night.

“We want to make good impression,” said Barrios of the strong cast sent by the Philippine cage federation to a meeting with the FIBA bosses.

“FIBA called representatives from the bidders. They may have additional questions for evaluation after making the rounds of the bidding countries,” Barrios also said.

It’s a two-day affair where FIBA is to meet the bidders one by one today then meet them altogether tomorrow.

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Also expected in Mies are representatives from Russia, Turkey, Argentina and Uruguay.

The partnership of the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia is pitted against the single host nation bids of Russia and Turkey, and the similar multiple host countries offer of Argentina and Uruguay.

The Filipinos, the Indons and the Japanese are banking heavily on their fast-growing region —home to more than 500 million people — to win the hosting rights for the next FIBA World Cup.

In 2019, the FIBA flagship event is to be played in China.

The Asian candidate says the region is a part of the world where basketball has the chance to become the sport of choice for so many people, mentioning the popularity of the sport in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the SBP started Thursday over at the Araneta Ticketnet the sale of tickets for the Gilas Pilipinas-Chinese Taipei game in the Asian World Cup qualifiers on November 27 at the Big Dome.

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