PH wants to host Fiba meet Thursday, August 16, 2012
Manila Standard By MST Sports
The Philippines is bidding to host the FIBA Asia Championships in Manila next year, but Japan and Iran are standing in the way.
But while Iran and Japan may fancy their chances in beating the Philippines on the basketball court, their success in hosting the tournament is much tougher, considering what the country has going for it.
To begin with, the Philippines is a basketball-crazy country, while in Japan, sports like football and baseball are far more popular, while in Iran, soccer is also predominant.
With the newly opened Mall of Asia Arena, as well as the Smart- Araneta Coliseum, the Philippines has two world-class venues for basketball, while the country’s hospitality is regarded as second to none.
But to win the bid, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will have to make a convincing presentation to the FIBA Executive Committee, headed by its president Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al-Thani of Qatar on Sept. 18 in Tokyo.
SBP president, businessman-sportsman Manny Pangilinan, vice chairman Ricky Vargas, executive director Sonny Barrios and SBP officials Pato Gregorio and Bernie Atienza, along with former FIBA Asia secretary general Moying Martelino, met over dinner at the Marriot Hotel, with FIBA Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian of Lebanon and informed him of the country’s desire to host the FIBA Asia Championships next year.
“Hagop was quite impressed in terms of the MOA facilities,” Vargas told the Manila Standard. “The whole basketball community is looking forward to this event.”
Vargas said they also informed the FIBA Asia Secretary General that the SBP is in full cooperation with the Philippine Basketball Association.