Homeward bound in ’23 | Inquirer Sports

Homeward bound in ’23

Fiba’s premier event returns to the basketball passion capital of the world
By: - Sports Editor / @ftjochoaINQ
/ 10:16 PM December 09, 2017

Photo from Fiba World Cup Twitter account

It’s going to be loud, and an entire nation will be proud, when basketball comes back home in 2023.

The international basketball federation (Fiba) awarded the Philippines and two other countries joint hosting rights for the 2023 World Cup Saturday after a tense meeting at the Fiba headquarters in Mies, Switzerland.

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“We did it! Philippines will host 2023 FIBA World Cup. God bless us,” SBP chair emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan posted on his Twitter account (@iamMVP) Saturday night after Fiba reached its decision.

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Pangilinan led the presentation of the Philippines, which made the bid in a consortium with Japan (Okinawa) and Indonesia (Jakarta). Half of the 32 World Cup qualifiers will play in Manila while the other half will be split between Jakarta and Okinawa. But all games in the knockout stage will be played in the Philippines starting in the quarterfinals.

Immediately after the announcement, Filipinos took to social media to celebrate the achievement.

“Victory! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! #BasketballIsComingHome #PlayLouderIn2023 #FIBAWC2023 in Manila,” wrote national coach Chot Reyes on his Twitter account (@coachot).

Reyes was with the Philippine delegation that made a final pitch at the Fiba offices. A joint effort of Argentina and Uruguay was the country’s last rival for the hosting rights. 

The Philippines last hosted the World Cup in 1978 and last made the tournament in 2014, when the country made a spirited run back to the world stage that started in the 2013 Fiba Asia in Manila.

That’s why the SBP made sure it would make a strong final push for the 2023 hosting. Aside from Pangilinan, Rep. Pia Cayetano and SBP president Al Panlilio also spoke before Fiba officials to make a passionate plea for the hosting rights.

“If they want growth to the next level for Fiba, the region they should bring the next World Cup [to] is Southeast Asia,” Panlilio earlier said. “It’s aligned to what Fiba wants to do for basketball.”

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TAGS: Al Panlilio, Chot Reyes, host, hosting, Indonesia, Japan, Manny V. Pangilinan, Philippines, Pia Cayetano

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