Big challenges ahead for PH in bid to host 2019 Fiba World | Inquirer Sports

Big challenges ahead for PH in bid to host 2019 Fiba World

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 11:05 PM November 01, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s ambitious step in a bid to host the 2019 Fiba World Cup is going somewhere.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) expects to pass the first phase in bringing the Fiba World Cup here.

Executive director Sonny Barrios said in during the Online Media Group Forum on Friday that the SBP, headed by Manny V. Pangilinan, was looking to complete the initial requirements by Fiba.

Manny V. Pangilinan. FILE PHOTO

Manny V. Pangilinan. FILE PHOTO

“MVP mentioned it (Fiba World Cup hosting) during our board meeting that we have participated in the initial process,” said Barrios on Friday at the Country Spice restaurant in Quezon City. “The deadline for the initial requirements is today.”


Barrios also said that he “expects” the Philippines to make it in the shortlist which will be released by the end of the month.

“We expect to make the shortlist,” he said. “Within the month of november they will make a shortlist based on the questionnaire and the payment.”

“We don’t know,” he answered when asked how many countries will make the list before adding, “what we know, when we attended the observation program, France, Germany, China, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, Brazil were there.”

Most of those countries have a headstart over the Philippines infrastructures-wise in the bidding having hosted the Fiba World before like Turkey or Brazil where it’s set to host the Summer Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

“Turkey hosted in 2010 and that’s an advantage for them. They’re almost perfect with Fiba’s infrastructure requirements.”

One of which is having at least four venues with each having to comply with Fiba’s specifications.


“That’s one of our big challenges. We don’t even have an existing venue that fits with what Fiba wants.”

Barrios, the former PBA commissioner, said having seven changing rooms and a media center that is about 600 square meters big are only a few of them.

According to Barrios, the SM group has plans to build one in Cebu and so does the Solaire group which is planning to erect a Fiba-approved venue somewhere in Pasay.

Aside from the infrastructure, it’s also a “big” challenge financially.

The SBP already paid €20,000 or around P1.2 million for the observation program held in Madrid last September another €50,000 (P2.8 million) to beat Friday’s deadline.

The P2.8 million will be returned if the country fails to make the shortlist but if it passes through the next step even if it doesn’t ultimately gets picked to host the tournament, “goodbye three million.”

The weather too will play a crucial part in the bidding, said Barrios.

The Fiba World Cup will be held sometime between Aug.15 to Sept. 22 and those times, the country is in the midst of a rainy season.

“Those are the challenges. The infrastructure, financial and weather, which is beyond our control.”

And while the weather condition here might be the deal breaker for Fiba, the Filipinos’ unparalleled craze for basketball and “the Filipinos’ warm hospitality” may convince Fiba.

A reporter asked Barrios “what will make Fiba choose the Philippines over other countries.”

Barrios got back to the reporter’s question not after recalling one Fiba official’s experience here in Manila during the Fiba Asia Championships. Barrios said the Fiba official marveled at the Filipinos’ love for the sport before saying, “now I know the meaning of basketball crazy.”

“Getting back to your question, what will make them choose us?” said Barrios smiling.


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TAGS: 2019 Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas, hosting, Manny V. Pangilinan, SBP, Sonny Barrios

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