SBP Yearender (1 of 2 parts) Mies victory tops list of feats
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The SBP enjoyed a banner 2017 with a host of achievements topped by the Philippine-led consortium’s winning bid to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup. As Manila prepares to stage the FIBA 3x3 World Cup in June, there are positive signs indicating a hoops renaissance in the country.

Here are the top 10 SBP stories for 2017 in review:

• World basketball is coming home. SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan made sure the bid was sweeter the second time around as the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan combined forces to win the hosting rights for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Two years ago, the Philippines lost to China in a bid to stage the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Last December, MVP led a delegation that made a 20-minute presentation to the FIBA Central Board in Mies, a Swiss town near Geneva, and the pitch was so compelling that the other finalist, a two-nation initiative of Argentina and Uruguay, withdrew before the voting.

During the campaign to win the bid, the SBP effort to generate a social media clamor behind the hashtag #PlayLouderIn2023 resulted in over 1.3 billion impressions on Twitter and put a resounding exclamation point to the consortium’s victory.  In 2023, the Philippines will host 16 countries in the group stage, eight in the quarterfinals, four in the semifinals and two in the final which is expected to set a new FIBA World Cup attendance record at the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena in Bocaue.

• Hosting the FIBA 3x3 World Cup. The fifth FIBA 3x3 World Cup will be held here on June 8-12 with 20 men and 20 women teams participating. Among the countries in the men’s division are Brazil, Latvia, New Zealand, defending champion Serbia and Slovenia. The countries in the women’s division include Argentina, China, Germany, Iran, Italy, defending champion Russia, Spain and USA.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said a press conference will be held in Manila on Jan. 18 to announce the venue with FIBA 3x3 managing director Alex Sanchez or FIBA 3x3 event manager Ignacio Soriano, both of Spain, expected to fly in to attend.

• Undefeated in FIBA Asia/Pacific qualifiers. The Philippines, Australia, Jordan, Kazakhstan and China are the only undefeated teams of 16 that played in the first home-and-away qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Gilas took down Japan, 77-71, in Tokyo last Nov. 24 and Chinese-Taipei, 90-85, at home last Nov. 27.

The Philippines’ next assignment will be against Australia in Melbourne on Feb. 22 then Gilas will host Japan on Feb. 25 in the second qualifying window. Seven teams from the Asia/Pacific region, excluding host China, will advance to the 2019 FIBA World Cup after six qualifying windows.

• Winning the SEABA Cup and Southeast Asian Games titles. Gilas captured the SEABA Cup title here last May to claim the Southeast Asian slot in the FIBA Asia/Pacific qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Philippines posted a 6-0 record with head coach Chot Reyes at the helm of a team comprising Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Andray Blatche, JuneMar Fajardo, Jio Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, R. R. Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro and Matthew Wright.

Then, it was another clean slate for Gilas at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur last August. The Philippines bagged the gold medal with a 5-0 record. Jong Uichico called the shots for Gilas whose lineup was composed of Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, Baser Amer, Kevin Ferrer, Rosario, Kobe Paras, Toto Jose, Almond Vosotros, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal, Christian Standhardinger and Carl Bryan Cruz.

The six other milestones will be highlighted in tomorrow’s Part 2.

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