Source : AKTV
The Philippines won the rights to host the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship set on August 1 to 11.
No less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan made the announcement in a text message circulated Thursday evening.
FIBA Asia had earlier awarded hosting rights to the event to Lebanon, but tensions in the region forced the regional cage body to look for other options.
“Unfortunately, the current situation in the region and the on-going civil war in Syria, which has its indirect effect on the countries in the whole of West Asia, especially on Lebanon, creates doubts about the stability that we might not have, at least, till the fixed dates of our event,” FIBA Asia secretary-general Hagop Khajirian told the FIBA Asia website.
“In view of these facts, FIBA Asia Executive Committee decided to change the venue of the 27th FIBA Asia Championship from Beirut-Lebanon to Manila-Philippines.”
Last September, Pangilinan led a delegation of SBP officials to make a comprehensive presentation before the FIBA Asia board in Japan to convince the Philippines’ fitness to host the tournament. The cage body, however, decided to go with Lebanon, but noted the Philippines would be next in line should the original choice prove to be unfit.
The FIBA Asia Championship serves as qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team coached by Chot Reyes will represent the country in the competition.
PBA RE-AFFIRMS SUPPORT
The PBA has committed its “full support” for the Philippines’ hosting of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in August.
Commissioner Chito Salud said the league welcomes news of the development with “great pride, anticipation, and excitement.”
“The PBA remains fully committed to Gilas Pilipinas,” he said in a press conference Friday during halftime of the Philippine Cup finals Game Two between Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text.
“All the team owners are on the board.”
Salud reiterated the league’s commitment to allow the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national program to utilize PBA players to form the team.
The commissioner, however, evaded a question about adjustments to the PBA schedule to accomodate players to be tapped for SMART-Gilas.
The league originally set its season to end, at latest, on July 28. But the PBA created its calendar prior to when FIBA Asia scheduled the regional cage tournament. The Asian basketball body has since set the tournament on August 1, leaving the Philippine team with a slim window to train after the end of the PBA season.
“These details and concerns are really minor,” said Salud.
FIBA Asia awarded the Philippines rights to stage the event because of regional tensions involving the original host, Lebanon.