A quantum leap of requirements.
For the Philippines to get the hosting rights of the World Cup, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will need to finish the two other coliseums being considered as playing venues — the one in SM Cebu and the other one in Manila owned by Solaire Hotel.
They were given until the end of 2017 to finish it, according to SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.
“We need to submit an engineering schedule to FIBA,” Barrios told Tiebreaker Times. “Hindi naman pwede na mag-rely tayo sa sasabihin ng SM and Solaire group. Kailangan may timeline tayo sa construction.”
The venues that will be constructed in SM Cebu and Solaire are being considered as possible sites for the World Cup in 2019.
Just recently, the FIBA Evaluation Commission inspected the three existing venues in the country — the Philippine Arena, the Mall of Asia Arena and the Smart-Araneta Coliseum — and each of them passed the standards required.
The inspecting group also flew to Cebu to talk to the SM Group and visited the vacant area near Solaire.
FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann arrived on Friday and consolidated the report of his team. He’s concerned about the two sites where the venues will be put up and hopes to get development soon.
“But it won’t affect the hosting bid. This is just the initial step,” said Baumann. “But I hope it will be finished in 2017.”
SBP president Manuel V. Pangilinan said they were already informed of the magnitude of the 2019 World Cup and FIBA warned them that it would be bigger than the ones held in Spain.
“It’s 10 times bigger than FIBA Asia,” said Pangilinan. “But I think we can do it. Nobody is more passionate than Filipinos as far as basketball is concerned.”
“They want us to take a quantum leap in 2019.”