Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bid For FIBA ASIA for 2013 , Manny V Pangilinan Revealed Interest

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan said the country has expressed interest in hosting the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship for Men.

The business tycoon told FIBA president Ivan Mainini and secretary-general Patrick Baumann about the proposal at the closing of the 26th FIBA Asia Championship for Men in Wuhan, China.

“I told them we will make our bid and I also told them one group is building a new coliseum,” said Pangilinan, who was informed by FIBA that the deadline for the submitting the bid is at the end of September.

He was referring to the MOA Arena, which is scheduled to open in May next year and can house 16,000 fans.

Pangilinan said that with the opening of the new venue and with plans afoot to refurbish the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, the country has a good chance of bagging the rights to host the biennial tournament, which will serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Spain. Three slots in the worlds are up for grab for Asia in the qualifier.

“Kinuwento ko kasi sa kanila that we will refurbish SMART-Araneta so we’ll have two good venues for basketball,” he said.

The SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team is coming off a heartbreaking campaign in Wuhan. The Filipino dribblers finished fourth, losing to South Korea in the bronze medal game, 70-68, to miss the chance of playing in another Olympic qualifying tournament next year for the 2012 London Games.

Despite this, Pangilinan said he will continue to finance the elite SMART-Gilas program until 2013 to hopefully qualify for the world championship.

The SBP will evaluate the status of head coach Rajko Toroman as well as the composition of the team as members of SMART-Gilas have joined the PBA have turned professionals.

Only naturalized player Marcus Douthit and Chris Tiu are left in the team. Some of the top amateur players like Kiefer Ravena, Greg Slaughter and Bobby Ray Parks, however, are expected to be invited to be part of the SMART-Gilas program.

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