PH makes star-studded final rally to bag 2019 Fiba World hosting
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan and boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao will head the Philippine delegation to Tokyo, Japan for the country’s final presentation to win the hosting rights for the 2019 Fiba World Cup.
The hosting is down to the Philippines and China and Fiba will make its announcement on Friday, the same day the final presentation of the two countries will be made.
While China has the advantage when it comes to the infrastructures, the Philippines will bank on its unparalleled passion for the game of basketball.
“I want Fiba to experience the passion that runs deep in every Filipinos,” said former long-time Gilas Pilipinas captain Jimmy Alapag during the Fiba World Cup bid delegation sendoff at Lighthouse Monday. “I think it’s time to bring basketball home. We’re going up against a giant come Friday and I think we’ve proven that giants can be taken down.”
Former national team head coach Chot Reyes also believes that it’s the Philippines’ time to be the stage of the world’s grandest basketball competition.
“It is our time. It’s going to be more than 40 years in 2019 since we hosted the last World Cup and it’s time for basketball to come home, to our home,” Reyes said.
Reyes and Alapag are also part of the delegation leaving for Japan on Wednesday.
Part of the country’s final presentation is to make the official hashtag #PUSO2019 trend on Twitter on Friday.
“In the Philippines, basketball is life. It is part of our cultural fabric and the number one sport which people throughout our country follow devotedly every day,” Pangilinan said in a press release.
“The opportunity to receive the honor of hosting the Fiba Basketball World Cup would provoke extraordinary national pride. And as the social media capital of the world, that’s something that would inevitably be felt and talked about worldwide.”
Having the presence of Pacquiao, who is also a playing-coach in the PBA and a Congressman, will be of great help in winning the hosting duties.
“Manny’s passion for the sport is something he shares with every Filipino. We welcome his contribution to our efforts in Tokyo. We are delighted that he will join us as we showcase the Philippines’ plans to help Fiba take basketball to new heights and for the World Cup to transcend the sport as a worldwide media experience,” Pangilinan said.
Apart from the hashtag, the SBP also launched the “Para sa Pinas, Shot for the Philippines” campaign where Filipinos can take a video of themselves explaining why the Philippines should be the World Cup host before calling out more people to do the challenge in an attempt to make it viral.
Alapag was the first one to do the challenge and he called out his former teammates Ranidel de Ocampo and Jayson Castro to do their own.
Also, Reyes and Alapag also took the very first “dunkfie.” The dunkfie is a spinoff of a selfie where the selfie stick used is basketball hoop.
Hollywood star Lou Diamond Phillips, who has Filipino roots, will also be part of the delegation.
“On Friday, 5:30 p.m. when the verdict is out that’s going to be the greatest victory in the history of Philippine basketball,” Reyes said.
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