Smart throws full support to FIBA Asia elims
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Smart Communications, Inc. is coming in as a major supporter of the country’s hosting of the 27th International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Championship Cup in August as part of the company’s commitment to promote Philippine sports.

The FIBA Asia Cup, which will be participated by 16 countries, will serve as the qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Championship. The top three teams will represent Asia in the World Championship set in Spain next year.

This marks the first time in 40 years that the Philippines will be hosting the biennial competition.

“Smart has always been at the forefront in supporting Philippine sports, especially basketball,” said Charles Lim, EVP and head, Wireless Consumer Business for Smart and Sun Cellular. “As a growing testament of our commitment, Smart is proud to be one of the main sponsors of the country’s hosting of this very prestigious event where we will see our very own Gilas Pilipinas national team battle it out with Asia’s best basketball teams.”

Smart is part of the local organizing committee of the FIBA Asian tournament slated Aug. 1-11 at the MOA Arena powered by PLDT and Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

“Organizing this tournament has been taking much hard work, commitment, and passion,” said Epok Quimpo, Smart Sports manager.

“The Philippines went through so much just to get the hosting rights for this tournament but thanks to the patience and dedication of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) led by its president and PLDT-Smart chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, FIBA awarded us this rare opportunity,” said Quimpo. 

Pangilinan led the delegation that made a solid pitch for the hosting bid before the FIBA Asia executives in Japan last year. Even after the FIBA Asia officials initially granted Lebanon the hosting duties, Pangilinan was persistent until FIBA finally awarded the hosting rights to the Philippines.

Pangilinan also spearheaded the call for support of all the professional teams in the Philippine Basketball Association to form the most competitive team that will represent the country.

The last time the Philippines hosted the tournament was in 1973 when it was still known as the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship. The Philippine team, led by Filipino basketball legends Robert Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez, beat South Korea to bag the title.

 

ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP CUP ASIA CUP ASIAN BASKETBALL CONFEDERATION CHAMPIONSHIP CHARLES LIM EPOK QUIMPO FIBA GILAS PILIPINAS HOSTING PANGILINAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
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