PH loses Fiba hosting bid
It’s lebanon in ’13By Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TOKYO—The Philippines suffered a huge setback in its quest to make it back to the World Championship on Wednesday when Lebanon won the right to host the Fiba Asia qualifying event next year.
Not even the strongest pitch coming from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan could convince the Fiba Asia executive committee after a marathon deliberation at Grand Prince New Takanawa Hotel here.
Details of the voting were being kept under wraps until an official press statement from Fiba Asia comes out on Thursday, but the Inquirer learned that seven out of the nine voting members favored the Lebanon campaign.
The SBP was hoping to land hosting rights to give the national team homecourt advantage as it shoots for a slot in the World Championships in 2014.
Pangilinan made the presentation along with PBA commissioner Chito Salud, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios and former Asian Basketball Confederation sec-gen Moying Martelino garbed in elegant suits while Lebanon presented its bid through players Fadi El-Khatib and Elie Stephan, who were dressed in their team shirts and jeans.
Fiba Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian is Lebanese and there were reports that the executive committee granted the hosting rights because Lebanon begged off from hosting the 2011 qualifying. The Philippines has no representative in the executive committee.
Khajirian told Barrios and Martelino that the Philippines would be awarded the rights if Lebanon is not ready to host the event in September next year.
Pangilinan and Co. were quite convinced that they made a good pitch, showing how big basketball is back home with footages of boys playing in sandlots and a photo of President Aquino during a courtesy call by the national team after its Jones Cup triumph.
Tags: FIBA Asia