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After impressing FIBA in Geneva, SBP asks gov’t officials for support as inspection team visits Philippines

Foreign dignitaries supported the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas when the country made a pitch for the FIBA hosting in Geneva.

Over the next three weeks, an inspection team from the world’s cage governing body will visit the Philippines to oversee the conditions of one of the countries included in the shortlist of bidders for the World Cup hosting in 2019.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios called on the government’s support when the inspection team visits the Philippines from January 26 to 30.

“We asked FIBA, can we create noise on our bid process? They said yes. That would be good for the whole process,” Barrios said.

But Barrios said it would create a good impression if ever top-ranking officials from the government will also join the SBP in welcoming the inspection team just like what they did in Geneva when no less than the Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland joined PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, SBP deputy executive director for international affairs Butch Antonio, SBP logistics consultant Andrew Teh, and Sean Nicholls, president of Octagon Asia-Pacific, a renowned sports marketing and advertising firm based in Sydney, came in full force to lend support to the country’s pitch for World Cup hosting rights.

“Hopefully, we’ll have high-ranking government officials join us in welcoming them. Mr. Pangilinan is looking at inviting government officials who will join us in welcoming the FIBA inspection team,” added Barrios.

The Philippines along with China has been shortlisted by FIBA as strong bidders for the World Cup hosting in 2019.

Barrios said FIBA was very much impressed with the FIBA Asia Championship staging in Manila two years ago.

“I think they were really impressed with our hosting of the FIBA Asia. Impressed more so by the passion shown by our fans. We should really give credit to our so-called ‘basketball crazy public.’”

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