President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday expressed support to the Philippines’ joint bid along with Japan and Indonesia to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup, as the country aims to gain a favorable decision from the world governing body for the sport.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella described the hosting bid as a “very rare” opportunity expected to “unify the country and will have positive impact on basketball and tourism.”
“The Philippines, together with Indonesia and Japan, will bid for the hosting rights for the 2023 FIBA World Cup,” Abella said.
“President Duterte backs the FIBA World Cup to support the initiative of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan and SBP president Al Panlilio,” he added.
Under the proposal, Manila, Tokyo and Jakarta will host group stage matches while the Philippines was proposed as the sole host country of the final knockout phase.
Last Thursday, a three-man FIBA Evaluation Commission started inspecting facilities which will be used should the Philippines, which is bidding to co-host the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, get the nod from the FIBA Central Board in December.
FIBA Central Board and Commission president Hamane Niang of Mali, FIBA Central Board member and treasurer Ingo Weiss of Germany and advisor to the FIBA secretary-general Lubomir Kotleba of Slovak Republic, accompanied by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez, paid Duterte a courtesy call at the Mahogany Room of the Manila Hotel before embarking on a two-day ocular inspection of the Philippine International Convention Center, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena and the Philippine Arena.
Present during the courtesy call were, among others, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, SBP president Al Panlilio, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios and SBP deputy executive director for international affairs Butch Antonio.
The 2023 World Cup is also the qualifier for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup, meanwhile, will be held in eight cities in China—Beijing, Foshan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou—and will be participated by a record 32 teams, according to the FIBA World Cup website.