One Game At A Time

Fiba Asia hosting reaffirms PH basketball status


SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ recent formal announcement that the 27th Fiba Asia Championship will be hosted by the country is welcome news to all those who relish the Philippine team battling against Asia’s best.

After being disappointed in Tokyo last year when a well-prepared presentation was sidestepped by the simple presence of a Lebanese star player, the SBP can now concentrate on being gracious and efficient hosts and on the job of preparing a team to nail one of three Asian slots in the World Championships next year.

The security situation as a result of the Syrian civil war compelled Fiba to move the site of the tournament, once known as the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) championship, from Beirut to the next interested country.

And that just happened to be the Philippines. So better late than never, we get to host the biggest basketball bonanza in the region. Holding the tournament here is important to reestablish the Philippines as a knowledgeable and experienced host.

If there is one sport we know inside and out, it’s basketball. We know how to run international tournaments with foreign teams and what players and teams need.

When I covered the 1988 Seoul Olympics basketball games, media folks from all over the world would approach me to say that they enjoyed their stay in the Philippines during the World Championships in 1978.

It’s been a while since we’ve hosted a major international basketball affair, save for the Asian Youth in 1989 and 1991 Southeast Asian Games tournament. The time is right to remind the region and the world that we are capable hosts and basketball people.

The tourism angle is a given. Hosting the tournament for the first time since 1973 will remind the Asian basketball community also that it’s more fun in the Philippines. People will watch the games, even those that will not involve the Philippine team, and treat all guests generously and graciously.

Then there’s the issue of reaffirming that we are not pushovers anymore in the Asian hoops scene. We had our bad years when we couldn’t get the PBA players to participate, and some good ones when the Northern Consolidated and the Smart Gilas teams bannered the squad.

If coach Chot Reyes can get a team that he can work with from the PBA ranks and other leagues and they have enough training and competition time, then the Philippines has a reasonably good chance of making it to the top three slots.

Participating in the world tournament is also important because it would mark our return to this prestigious gathering of basketball elite teams. Realistically, we will never go deep into the world championships if we never participate but that isn’t all that matters.

What’s important is participating to remind all and sundry that the talent and greatness of the Filipino baller is still very much around.

It’s in a different form from that of Carlos Loyzaga and that brilliant team that finished third in the world championships in 1954. The talent is also different from the 1974 team in Puerto Rico that won the ABC here in Manila the year before and had the likes of Robert Jaworski, Bogs Adornado, Mon Fernandez and others.

The Fiba Asia should add more spice to an already full basketball schedule in August.

We should welcome its return with open arms because its success both in terms of playing well and hosting mean a lot to this country.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Wilfredo Andaluz

    Automatic na ba sa semi – final line-up ang host country at di na dadaan sa elimination ?

  • The Franchise


  • manongcastro

    I can’t wait to watch the tournament in MOA Eye Arena!

  • Marlon

    basketball is for tall people…

    Filipinos are short people…

    deal with it.

    • jambolis

      so kung short ang pinoy di na sasali? kung mahina ka sa math di ka na mag-aaral? its not about winning pare, its how you play the game…  kahit natatalo tayo sa international competition, other countries still admires our player and philippines is always a threat. 

    • kalium

      hindi sa tangkad yan pre, puso, meron ka?

    • Dandave Javier

       Puerto Rico is one of the strongest teams in the Americas… and they’re not tall either. stupid logic

      • Wilfredo Andaluz

        Ang nakakapagtaka pa sa Puerto Rico di – naman masyadong maraming population nila pero nakakakuha sila ng magaling na player . Ang Pilipinas halos 100 milyon na ang populasyon sana marami tayong mapili sa ganyang karaming mamamayan. Hindi lang sa basketbol pati sa ibang isport . Ang Puerto Rico ay katulad din ng Pilipinas na kolonya ng Estados Unidos kaya lang ang Plipinas ay humingi ng independence sa US ang Puerto Rico ay hindi .

    • ElScorcho

      Sino’ng sinasabi mong pandak? May tatlo tayong player ngayon na higit 6’10” ang tangkad (Fajardo 6’10”, Slaughter 7’0″, Douthit 6’11”) at mangilan-ngilan ding 6’7″ – 6’9″ na power forward. 6’3″ na ang mga shooting guard natin ngayon. 6’5″ pataas ang mga small forward. 5’11” up ang mga point guard. Hintayin mo na lang ang ilalabas na lineup para sa FIBA Asia.

  • Archie B

    Thanks so much, MVP!!!

    sa mga hindi pa nakakaalam, MVP is also helping other sports sa bansa natin. not just basketball. Azkals? isa si MVP sa tumutulong diyan.

  • AntiAko

    Oo nga, magaling na tayo sa basketball because we have been picked to host. But other than this, don’t you think we are putting too much emphasis on a game we will never be the best of in the international arena? I mean it’s ok to focus on basketball as long as it does not destroy the other sports in the process. For now, this is exactly what basketball does –  keeping potential Olympians from trying other sports which we would have excelled in only because these sports are not as “glamorous” as basketball and thus merit little or no support at all.

    • !!!!Alexei!!!!

      being the best in the international arena is not our true purpose for hosting the FIBA Asia Championship. The main goal of Smart Gilas is to reacclaim the lost glory of the past and bring back our international status in the game that we adore the most. Ever since the PBA was founded, our national teams have not been successful except in 1985, and it’s good that we are finally taking the national team as serious as the US. The other national teams will be just fine, so at least show your pride towards all our athletes representing our country.

    • jambolis

      @AntiAko: Why blame basketball kung hindi nag flourished ang other sports? Basketball does not destroy other sports, Filipinos just play the sport they love to play. I’m sick and tired of people who blame basketball kaya di sumikat ang other sports. Ang kailangan lang naman natin is key players of other sports para sumkat ito… like the azkals, nung nagkaroon ng younghusband brothers tsaka lang napansin and to think di naman tumigil ang basketball di ba. pacman and donaire is key boxers for boxing who inspires other boxers in our country to excel also… in badminton, we have the asuncions.  Be fair… di naman fault ng basketball kung gusto ito ng pinoy.

      • Wilfredo Andaluz

        Kasi sikat ang basketbol sa atin kaya doon naka – concentrate halos ang mga sponsor kaya ang ibang isport nakakalimutan kaya nahihirapan tayong makakuha ng medalya sa olympic na dapat npag – ukulan nag pansin ang isport na di – nangangailangan ng taas kundi nasa basketbol lang ang marubdub na paghahangad na makapasok sa olympic dahil malaki ang ginagastos dyan dahil team player yan. Pero isang bilang lang ng medalya katumbas din ng isang player katulad ng boxing . Siguro pag tinangkilik ng Pinoy ang mga nakakaligtaang sport ay baka doon na lang mag-sponsor kasi advertisement ng produkto yan .

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos