MVP brings World Cup back to Asia
SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan (fifth from left) sets to receive the FIBA flag symbolic of the transfer of the World Cup hosting rights from China to the Philippines as lead host of the three-nation consortium staging the 2023 event. Chinese Basketball Association president Yao Ming (left) holds the flag during the turnover rites at halftime of the World Cup final in Beijing last Sunday. Witnessing the turnover are outgoing FIBA president Horacio Muratore, Local Organizing Commiittee executives Weng Xuan and Chen Jie, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, FIBA Central Board members Yuko Mitsuya and Erick Thohir and Indonesia Basketball Federation president Danny Kosashi.
MVP brings World Cup back to Asia
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan yesterday revealed that he thought it was impossible to bring the FIBA World Cup back to Asia after China clinched the hosting rights this year but with an imaginative concept harnessing the resources of three countries in the first-ever consortium to bid for the event, the impossible happened.

The Philippines, Indonesia and Japan were awarded the hosting rights for the next FIBA World Cup in 2023 with the Philippines as the lead partner to stage the quarterfinals, semifinals and final. Manila will host 16 countries while Jakarta and Okinawa will welcome eight each in the preliminaries. Then, the four survivors in the Manila leg will join the other four survivors, two each from Jakarta and Okinawa, in the quarterfinals in Manila.

“Happy for all Filipinos,” said Pangilinan. “I thought it was impossible because 2019 was in Asia. Unlikely to get repeated in Asia but we did it.”

Pangilinan received the FIBA flag symbolic of the turnover of the hosting rights from the Basketball Association of the People’s Republic of China president Yao Ming in a ceremony at halftime of the FIBA World Cup final between Spain and Argentina in Beijing last Sunday night. Pangilinan accepted the flag in behalf of the consortium as the Philippines is the main host. He was joined on the court by FIBA Central Board members Erick Thohir of Indonesia and Yuko Mitsuya of Japan.  PBA chairman Ricky Vargas was also on the floor to witness the turnover.

“We’re bringing home the FIBA flag with us,” said Pangilinan. “A huge honor and privilege for SBP and great pride for our people. Thank you so much to all of you for your support. You inspire us and give us the energy and spirit to keep trying. In particular, my thanks to President Duterte for his kind encouragement and presence to Gilas and our hosting. Our sincere gratitude also goes to the FIBA Central Board and the FIBA staff. My special thanks go to Señor Horacio Muratore, outgoing FIBA president and most especially, to the late FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann whose memory I recall with personal fondness. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.”

Pangilinan said the journey towards staging a successful FIBA World Cup in 2023 has begun. “It starts with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), the Steering Committee with Japan and Indonesia and the Gilas Team 2023,” he said. “In bringing all this effort to fruition in 2023 and in showing what we Filipinos can offer the world, I ask for your prayers and help for the SBP.”

The day before the final, the FIBA Central Board was convened for its first meeting of the 2019-2023 term under newly-elected president Hamane Niang of Mali. Pangilinan and Yao were named to the Central Board, joining NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum of the US and Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico who were also co-opted. The FIBA Central Board has 25 members. Pangilinan will serve a second consecutive four-year term.

SBP president Al Panlilio has been designated 2023 FIBA World Cup event director. The LOC head of operations is Cito Martelino whose father Moying was once the FIBA Asia (then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation) secretary-general. LOC Joint Management Committee head is John Lucas. Overseeing the event is a “master” Joint Management or Steering Committee composed of Panlilio, Lucas and one representative each from Japan, Indonesia and FIBA. The FIBA point persons coordinating the next World Cup are FIBA sport and competitions director Predrag Bogosavljev of Serbia and FIBA director general of media and marketing services Frank Leenders of the Netherlands.

Aside from the tournament, Manila will host the World Cup draw, FIBA Congress and the first FIBA Central Board meeting for the new term 2023-2027. In November, Manila will host the second alignment meeting involving the three host countries and FIBA. Last February, the first alignment meeting was held in Jakarta. The third alignment meeting will be in Tokyo during the first quarter of next year before the Olympics.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said Pangilinan’s marching orders are to create “a great experience for the players, coaches, officials and the fans” with the warmth of the Filipino hospitality and the efficiency of staging a world-class competition highlighting the 2023 event. A target is to set a new attendance record for a FIBA World Cup final. The record is 35,000 established when the US played Brazil for the gold medal at the Maracanazinho Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1954. Barrios said the 2023 final will be held at the Philippine Arena with the goal of setting a new attendance record of over 50,000.

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