PH lone Asian bid for Rio qualifier
BASKETBALL godfather Manny V. Pangilinan said that he is “happy and relieved” to learn that the Philippines is the only Asian country bidding to host one of three wildcard legs the Fiba will be staging in July next year for berths in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The chair of the governing Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Pangilinan initially didn’t know that Iran had dropped out of the race and that only six countries are now left to slug it out to host the three legs.
“I am happy and relieved (to learn) that we are the only Asian country (left) bidding,” Pangilinan said in a text message to the Inquirer on Friday night. “Although, of course, the decision will ultimately be Fiba’s, I am hopeful the Philippines would make the grade.”
The Czech Republic, Italy, Serbia, Turkey and Germany are the only other countries in the running. Being able to host a wildcard leg will be a big boost to the Filipinos’ chances of tabbing one of three available slots for the Games.
“We need that precious sixth man cheering our Gilas team on,” said Pangilinan, a member of the Fiba’s Central Board.
The winning bid will be known Jan. 19.
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