SBP urges Filipinos to rally behind PH’s joint 2023 Fiba World Cup bid

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Intent on staging the global basketball extravaganza in our home soil, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) enjoined the public to once again throw its support for the country’s joint hosting bid with Japan and Indonesia for the 2023 Basketball World Cup.

“Our country already has that reputation rooted from us being hailed as the Most Valuable Fans in Spain in 2014, so we’re already known globally for our fan support,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios. “So we ask everyone to continue the tradition and uphold our reputation that we are indeed a basketball-crazy country.”

Rallying behind #PlayLouderIn2023, SBP encourages the public to participate in the candidacy through their social media accounts as it eyes to get the nod this time after losing to China for the 2019 hosting bid.

“I think it will be very big,” said SBP president Al Panlilio. “That’s why we’re asking for your help to show the interest so that we can show the numbers to Fiba. We want them to bring (the World Cup) here because this is where the growth of Fiba will happen.”

If the Philippines-Japan-Indonesia bid does get the nod, SBP officials said majority of the games will be held here in the country with Smart Araneta Coliseum and Mall of Asia Arena serving as home venues, together with Okinawa, Japan and Jakarta, Indonesia.

The semifinals and final games are planned to be staged at the cavernous Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan where SBP promises a huge turnout from hoops aficionados.

“We want to make sure that aside from social media, record crowds will watch the games live for sure, especially if the final will be played at the Philippine Arena,” said Panlilio.

Panlilio is confident that the three-nation proposal has provided a compelling argument to Fiba to award the hosting rights to the Asian continent.

“It’s developing basketball in a region that’s not developed yet. If they’re able to expand it to this region, it’s good for Fiba,” said Panlilio.

“Imagine the 500 million population among the three countries, which has a very young demographic and is predisposed to social media. In Fiba mind, they want to raise the level of the World Cup every year and they want the next hosting in 2023 to be higher than what they foresee China can bring. That’s why our proposition has built a strong case with Fiba that indeed, we will be able to surpass the level of China in 2019.”

“Three times the impact, three times the exposure, three times the legacy. It’s gonna be epic. History will be made. Memories will be created, and moments will shared. In 2023, we invite you to play louder than ever,” he said.

The SBP delegation, together with fellow bidders from Japan and Indonesia, will fly to Geneva, Switzerland on December 7. They will present before the Fiba Central Board on December 9. -


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