Source : June Navarro Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is going all out to gain homecourt advantage in the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship.
SBP executive director Renauld Barrios said the national cage body will submit to Fiba Friday its official bid to host the continental qualifier for the world championship set in 2014.
Barrios said the formal application to host on the final day of submission for bids comes with a cover letter signed by SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan stressing the country’s willingness to bring Asia’s most prestigious tourney to Manila.
China, which played host to the recently concluded Fiba Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, bagged the gold medal and the lone continental ticket to next year’s London Olympics.
The Philippines hopes to exploit the hometown support in the tournament which stakes three slots to the 24-nation 2014 Fiba World Championship set to be staged in six cities in Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona.
Barrios said they are working on a comprehensive cover letter that will provide a bird’s eyeview on the proposed hosting and supplement the bidding form provided by Fiba Asia.
The form is a simple checklist of forthcoming Fiba Asia tournaments a bidding country wants to host.
“We’ll definitely go for it,” said Barrios. “The attached letter will indicate how super serious we are to host it.”
The SBP made a bid for Manila to host this year’s Asian championship, but lost out to Lebanon.
Unimpressed with Beirut’s hosting of the Stankovic Cup last year, Fiba moved the Asian championship to Wuhan.
Besides the Philippines, Lebanon and China are also reportedly interested in the world qualifier.
Barrios said the SBP could stage the Asian championship in two venues—the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the world-class stadium being built at the Mall Of Asia in Pasay City.
“We have two good venues which can meet Fiba standards,” said Barrios.
“And we have experienced personnel who could organize an event as big as the Fiba Asia Championship.”
Barrios said they would deploy the same manpower when SBP successfully staged the Fiba Asia Champions Cup at the Philsports Arena four months ago.