Manila will host the Asian leg of the FIBA Championships (Fédération Internationale de Basketball) whose world qualifiers will meet in Spain on 2014. SBP (Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas) President Manny V. Pangilinan made the groundbreaking announcement during halftime of the TalkNText and Rain or Shine Finals series Saturday January 12, 2013 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
MVP along with Rain or Shine Team owner Terry Que met with FIBA officials over the holidays to thresh out the negotiations to host one of the most prestigious international basketball events. TNT eventually won the game 89-81 to take a 2-0 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Even though our teams are rivals on the court, I insisted that Terry Que join us in this momentous occasion. This announcement is bigger than just the PBA but is for the whole country,” said Pangilinan. He explained that he has already asked the support of local government such as Manila and Pasay City Mayor’s office.
“There will be a total of 800 athletes. The top FIBA officials will be staying in SOFITEL. The players will be in DIAMOND Hotel and the referees will be in another hotel.” According to MVP, A FIBA official had visited the country last August and approved the Mall of Asia Arena as the main venue for the games. The CUNETA Astrodome is also being considered as a secondary venue.
The last time the Philippines qualified for the FIBA World competitions was 40 years ago. The support of local fans will be a big boost to the morale of our National team.