The Philippines, together with Japan and Indonesia, was in a festive mood Saturday night after being granted the hosting rights of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. But Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes quickly reminded his fellow Filipinos that the real challenge starts now.
“Realistically, we know that now the hard work begins,” said the veteran bench strategist through a short video clip posted on the FIBA World Cup’s official Twitter page moments after the announcement.
Reyes, along with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and SBP executives, plus Sen. Pia Cayetano, flew to Switzerland to present the Philippines-Indonesia-Japan bloc’s bid to the Central Board.
The three-nation group got the governing body’s nod over the South American duo of Argentina and Uruguay, making this the first time that multiple countries host the Basketball World Cup.
SBP’s efforts to earn the hosting rights of the quadrennial meet have been nothing but top-notch, showing that they could never afford to lose the 2023 showpiece after losing the 2019 edition to China back in 2015.
And now, with the rights all granted, the multi-titled mentor calls for oneness of the whole country, in order to provide a great World Cup experience, just like what they have promised during the tedious bidding process.
“It was great [that] there’s a lot of preparation and effort put in towards winning the bid,” said Reyes.
“But now, the whole country has to come together to make sure that we’re able to host and conduct a really great tournament.”
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