PH to host FIBA Olympic qualifier
(Philstar.com) - January 19, 2016 - 7:51am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Tuesday has been chosen by FIBA to host one of three Olympic qualifying tournaments set on July 4-10.

The country will share hosting chores with Italy and Serbia, according to FIBA’s official Twitter account.

From an initial list of 15 interested countries, the candidates were trimmed to 10 and finally, six. The Philippines, Iran and Japan were in the initial list. From Asia, only the Philippines has remained in contention and joins the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Serbia and Turkey among the remaining bidders.

The Philippines turned in the entry fee of 20,000 Euros or the equivalent of P1.05 million as early as last October with the original deadline of candidature compliance on November 11. It was initially announced that the Executive Committee would meet and decide the three hosts on November 23. FIBA later extended the bid deadline to January 11 with the announcement of the winning bids moved to Tuesday.

In a statement, Samahan Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan expressed delight over the news, thanking FIBA for the opportunity to host a major international basketball tournament such as the Olympic qualifiers.

“SBP wishes to express its gratitude to FIBA and its Executive Committee for giving us one of the hosting rights for the Rio Olympics Qualifying. We are indeed pleased and privileged to receive this news,” said Pangilinan.

At the same time, the sports patron promised FIBA officials that the SBP will do its best to make the Philippines a worthy host.

“I wish to convey to Fiba President Horacio Muratore and Secretary General Patrick Baumann SBP’s assurances that it will do its best in making the event worthy of an Olympic event. We wish our Smart Gilas team Godspeed in its quest to be part of the Olympic movement again. Laban Pilipinas! Puso!”

The Philippines has participated in only one Olympic qualifier in 1964.

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. – With earlier report from Joaquin Henson

ACIRC CZECH REPUBLIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FIBA FIBA PRESIDENT HORACIO MURATORE AND SECRETARY GENERAL PATRICK BAUMANN FROM ASIA IRAN AND JAPAN ITALY AND SERBIA JOAQUIN HENSON LABAN PILIPINAS QUOT
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