SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios said the Philippines will send the “best team” to the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain.
“We assure everybody that we will form the best team we can and put all the best players on the floor,” said Barrios during yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
The Fiba World Cup is set Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 in six locations in Spain—Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao, Granada and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
“The tournament is still one year away. There are a lot of variables that need to be considered,” said Barrios. “If Marcus Douthit got injured in just one game, what more in a span of one year? Anything can happen in one year.”
Douthit aggravated his right shin injury against South Korea in the semifinals of the 27th Fiba Asia Championship where the Filipinos clinched a ticket to Spain despite losing the 6-foot-10 naturalized center before the half.
It was the first time in 35 years that the Philippines grabbed a ticket to the world championship or since Manila hosted the global tournament in 1978.
A team formed by basketball godfather Danding Cojuangco qualified for the 1986 world championship, which was also held in Madrid, but the Power People Revolution on the same year prevented the Philippine five from competing.
Gilas Pilipinas ended up with the silver medal after losing in the gold-medal match to Iran, a game where Douthit did not suit up.
“So many things could happen,” said Barrios. “Allow us to take a rest first and savor this win. “Let’s take it easy. Remember, even USA has yet to form its own team.”
Barrios was on top of the administrative and logistical matters of Manila’s hosting, including transportation, venues, billeting and food of the players, officials and journalists from 15 countries.
The success of the event has prompted the SBP, headed by its president Manny V. Pangilinan, to take a look at the 2015 Fiba 3×3 Under-18 World Championship, which the International Basketball Federation or Fiba offered the Philippines to host even before the Asian championship.
“He (MVP) said let’s take a serious look at it. But that was before this hosting of the Fiba Asia Championship. Fiba sent invites to all countries which have shown interest in hosting the event,” said Barrios.
“Back then, I told Mr. Pangilinan that the SBP should wait for the result of the (Fiba Asia) hosting. The hosting experience was good, a lot of lessons were learned,” added Barrios.
This year’s 3×3 U18 world championship will be hosted by Indonesia. Italy and Spain staged the event in 2011 and 2012.