MANILA, Philippines—The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is making a serious bid to host the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship.
SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan recently met with the top brass of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) and offered to host in Manila the continental qualifier for the 2014 Fiba World Championship.
Pangilinan said Fiba president Yvan Mainini and secretary general Patrick Baumann welcomed the proposition and told the tycoon to submit a formal proposal.
Baumann has set a tentative deadline for the proposal this weekend. He met with Pangilinan after Smart Gilas Pilipinas lost the bronze medal to South Korea in the 26th Fiba Asia Championship in Wuhan, China.
“Yes, we will bid,” said Pangilinan. “I told them that there’s going to be a new coliseum [in Metro Manila], so there will be two good coliseums.”
Aside from the refurbished Smart Araneta Coliseum, another venue designed to house prestigious international sports events is rising at the SM Mall Of Asia in Pasay City.
“Of course, we expect a lot of competitors in that bidding, but we will make a serious run at it,” Pangilinan said.
Three continental spots are on offer in the 24-nation 2014 Fiba World Championship set to be staged in six cities in Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona.
The SBP made a bid for Manila to host the recent Asian championship, the qualifier for next year’s London Olympics, but lost out to Lebanon.
Unimpressed with Beirut’s hosting of the Stankovic Cup last year, Fiba moved the Asian championship to Wuhan instead.
The Philippines had never reached the semifinals of every Asian championship since 1987 before Smart Gilas made the breakthrough this year.
Smart Gilas duplicated the performance of the 1987 national team coached by Joe Lipa and backstopped by PBA Most Valuable Player Alvin Patrimonio.
PBA to form 16 man pool
Source : Reynaldo Belen, InterAKTV
If plans push through, the Philippine Basketball Association will allow the lending of a pool of 16 players, who might be tapped to represent the national team playing in the FIBA Asia Championship.
No names were brought up on the table, and Salud said he will wait for an appointment from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to discuss this matter.
“We have to sit down with the SBP. We have to know their plan in the next two years. This will be on the condition that there will be no distractions. And we will be playing only on elite tournaments being held in September and October,” said PBA commissioner Chito Salud during the PBA press conference at the Diamond Hotel.
The elite tournament which Salud is referring to is the FIBA Asia tournament, which is held during August and September.
“We know that SMART-Gilas will not last forever, so we decided to come out with a plan. Under the SBP charter, we’re mandated to support the national team in the elite tournaments. We will support SMART-Gilas while they’re there.”
According to Salud, the success of the SMART-Gilas program will bring consciousness to our basketball fans.
“We look forward to a strong partnership with SBP and SMART-Gilas to be able to come up with a strong program. We still have a lot to improve, taking small steps to get there. This will translate to a better reception as well from the PBA,” added Salud.
Salud said the fourth place finish is somewhat an achievement.
“At least, the fourth place finish is somewhat pleasing to my eyes, but I think we’ve already overachieved considering the fact that we had a chance to play for the championship berth and we had a chance to win a medal. We came close to achieving them,” added Salud.
The SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team finished fourth place in the FIBA Asia Championship, losing a tough 70-68 game against South Korea in the battle for the bronze medal. The team also finished fourth in the FIBA Asia Club Championship, which the country hosted last summer