FIBA president Horacio Muratore announces the winning hosts for the World Cup in 2023.

 FIBA president Horacio Muratore announces the winning hosts for the World Cup in 2023.

Basketball’s greatest show comes to Philippines
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2017 - 4:00pm

Japan, Indonesia joint hosts of 2023 FIBA World Cup

GENEVA – The Philippines, with partners Japan and Indonesia, will host the 2023 edition of the FIBA World Cup as rivals Argentina and Uruguay withdrew their bid after the FIBA Central Board deliberated in a closed-door session at the governing body’s headquarters in Mies, near this Swiss city, yesterday.

It was a long journey for the three-nation consortium led by SBP chairman emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan, whose first attempt to stage the World Cup ended in disappointment after the FIBA Central Board voted for China, 14-7, over the Philippines to host the 2019 tournament.

The Philippines had a superior audio-visual presentation but China’s resources and infrastructure overshadowed its deficiencies on stage.

This time, Pangilinan made sure the bid for 2023 covered the gaps of the previous tender. With Japan and Indonesia on board, the Philippines enlisted two strong allies for a unified push.

FIBA secretary-general Patrick Bauhmann summoned the lead delegates of both bidders after the FIBA Central Board completed deliberations following the
presentations. No voting was held as, in a gesture of sportsmanship, Argentina and Uruguay conceded the bid.

The combined population of 500 million of the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia dwarfed the total of 47.1 million of the two-nation bid of Argentina and Uruguay.

The nation is now set to break attendance records with the huge Philippine Arena as venue.

Terms of the bid were not disclosed, but it was speculated that the amount was more than double the offer for 2019, with the Philippines assuming most of the load.

“World basketball is coming home to the Philippines. It’s an honor for our country to be chosen to host the World Cup and the single priceless legacy I could leave for Philippine basketball,” said Pangilinan.

Pangilinan led the speakers who took turns in a 20-minute presentation before the FIBA Central Board.

SBP chairman emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan is joined by Indonesian member of the House of Representatives Budi Satrio Djiwandono and Japan Basketball Association deputy secretary general Matsuhiro Hirota during their FIBA World Cup bid presentation in Geneva yesterday.

SBP president Al Panlilio, one of the speakers, described the consortium’s case as convincing and compelling. It was anchored on the principles of simplicity, diversity and intensity, with the slogans “The Power of Three” and “Play It Louder Than Ever.” The others who spoke were Deputy Speaker Rep. Pia Cayetano, Indonesian Member of the House of Representatives Budi Satrio Djiwandono, Japanese Basketball Association (JBA) president and FIBA Central Board member Yuko Mitsuya, Indonesian Basketball League president and FIBA Central Board member Erick Thohir and JBA deputy secretary-general Matushiro Hirota.

FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann of Switzerland consoled the losing bidders Argentina and Uruguay by awarding the hosting rights to the 2027 World Cup back to the Americas. The last World Cup hosted by a country from the Americas was in 2002 with the US. Since then, the World Cup has gone to Saitama in 2006, Turkey in 2010 and Spain in 2014. 

FIBA president Horacio Muratore of Argentina accepted the peace offering and didn’t complain. The Argentina and Uruguay bid’s slogan was “All The Powers of Nature: Two Countries, One Passion.”

Pangilinan said the consortium’s bid will show the “power of basketball to unite countries, to be innovative in staging a one tentpole event across three countries, three safe, reliable and financially stable host cities, creative tournament design and a plan which puts consumer experience of our sport at its very core because we will play louder.”

Panlilio vowed to smash FIBA’s existing record of 35,000 set in the 1954 World Cup final between the US and Brazil at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The plan is to hold the 2023 final at the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena.

“Our deep love for basketball, our passion for the sport, is unequalled anywhere in the world,” said Pangilinan. “Basketball flows through our blood, pulses through our veins and animates our hearts. Basketball is what defines and unites us. We will play louder than ever.”

In two rounds of eliminations, the Philippines will host 16 teams while Indonesia and Japan will welcome eight each. Two teams from Indonesia and Japan will advance to the quarterfinals with four teams from the Philippines. Survivors move to the semifinals, then the last two standing will battle for the gold medal in the final.

Manila will host the quarterfinals up to the final.

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