The next FIBA World Cup, the World Cup of basketball, is not until 2019, less than two years from now. But already countries around the globe are clamoring to be accorded by FIBA, the international governing body of basketball as a sport, the honor to host the next, NEXT FIBA World Cup in 2023. This includes the Philippines, which had last tried to gain hosting rights back in 2015. While that effort was frustrated, the country is looking to make a comeback even if it has to split FIBA hosting duties with two other Asian nations in a joint bid. And it worked.
As ABS-CBN News tells us, the Philippines as represented by the national basketball sport association, the Samahang Basktebol ng Pilipinas (SBP), has joined forces with representatives from southern neighbor Indonesia and Japan much further north, in order to formulate a proposal for a three-way join hosting of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Their bid committee will be a ten-person team with the Philippines at its head, made their final hosting pitch to the FIBA Central Board last Saturday, December 9.
The FIBA World Cup, a quadrennial or four-year meet similar to other World Cups and the Olympics, is the top international basketball competition in the world. The 2023 Cup is the second FIBA tournament that the Philippines is trying to host (having last done so in 1978). Their bid for the 2019 Cup, led by then-SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan in 2015, was framed around the recently-document Filipino craze for basketball. The proposal was defeated by China, which touted that they were ready to host the World Cup even on the day after the host bidding event.
For the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the Philippine-Indonesia-Japan coalition faced competing bids from Argentina and Uruguay, both in South America. Ultimately the dream was fulfilled and the three Asian countries will be splitting the 32 games of the 2019 tournament among themselves. Venues for the FIBA World Cup games are the following: Philippine Arena, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena and PhilSports Arena in the Philippines; Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta, Indonesia; and Okinawa Arena in Japan. The Philippine Arena will serve as host to the semifinals and finals matches of the Cup.
As hosts of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan are automatically seeded in the tournament. Furthermore, the top eight teams of the tournament will automatically qualify their countries’ teams for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.
Photo courtesy of news.abs-cbn.com