If the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is dead serious of bringing the 2019 FIBA World Cup to the Philippines, it has to face the tougher challenges ahead: more participating teams. More scheduled games. Bigger expenses. Four FIBA standard venues. A discouraging weather season.
Executive director Sonny Barrios told the media that they have to find ways in dealing with these things as soon as the Philippines is included among the countries which will be shortlisted as candidates for the hosting of the biggest basketball tournament in the world.
“From 24 countries which participated in the recent World Cup in Spain, they will increase (the field) to 32,” Barrios said. “These means there will be more scheduled games. You have to select 15 days from the 37-day window given by FIBA.”
Of course, when you have more teams and more schedules games, it means more expenses.
Just recently, the SBP complied with the necessary requirements needed in pursuit of its bid to host the World Cup.
As early as August, the SBP underwent the initial procedure for countries which would like to host the World Cup. The country’s governing body in basketball sent a group who attended the seminar. By the end of October, the SBP likewise forwarded the questionnaire sent by FIBA regarding the Philippines’ intention to host. Through these initial procedures, the SBP already spent 75,000 euro dollars.
On Sunday, Manuel V. Pangilinan, president of the SBP and chief backer of the Gilas Pilipinas basketball program, revealed a very encouraging development that might boost the country’s hosting bid.
“We’re looking at the gymnasium that will be put up at SM Cebu,” said Pangilinan.
One of the requirements of FIBA is to have at least four venues to be used during the competition with the fifth venue being used as the site for the final rounds.
Presently, the country has the Araneta Coliseum, the Mall of Asia Arena, owned by the SM Group, and the newly-built Philippine Arena operated by Iglesia ni Cristo, which is considered as the biggest indoor venue in Asia.
But the worst thing that could happen lies on something our basketball officials cannot control.
The FIBA World Cup is normally being held between August and September, same months where the country was devastated by the wrath of super typhoons – Ondoy and Yolanda.
Barrios said FIBA is aware of that and this might be a serious consideration to look at.