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SBP firms up 3-way bid

MANILA, Philippines - It’s final. The Philippines will be the lead country in a three-nation bid to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup with Indonesia and Japan joining forces to form a strong Asian consortium ranged against other contenders Russia, Turkey and an Uruguay-Argentina partnership.

A high-powered team from FIBA headquarters in Switzerland was recently in town to conduct a two-day World Cup bid workshop attended by SBP officials and two delegates from Indonesia.  The team was made up of FIBA treasurer and FIBA Central Board member Ingo Weiss of Germany, FIBA competition and sports director Predrag Bogoslavjev of Serbia and FIBA director general for media and marketing services Frank Leenders of the Netherlands.

While in Manila, the visiting FIBA executives inspected the facilities of the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the adjacent Novotel Hotel. SBP deputy executive director for international affairs Butch Antonio said FIBA is well-acquainted with the Mall of Asia Arena where the FIBA Asia Championships were held in 2013 and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament was staged last year so no ocular inspection was arranged for the SM building.

Singapore made a late effort to join the Asian consortium but eventually, begged off. The city government of Okinawa is spearheading the campaign to bring the World Cup to Japan while FIBA Central Board member and SEABA president Erick Thohir is backing the Indonesia effort.

Before the Manila stop, the FIBA team visited Japan to conduct a similar two-day workshop. After Manila, the FIBA executives flew to Jakarta for the third leg of the workshop tour. Indonesia sent an advance group of two to attend the Manila workshop on the SBP’s invitation.

“FIBA knows the Philippines is the bus driver in the Asian bid,” said Antonio. “We’ll be hosting four groups of four teams each in the first round then the top two teams of each group will advance to play in the second round where there will be eight teams split into two groups of four. Indonesia will host two groups of four in the first round then the top two of each group will advance to play in the second round where there will be four teams in one group. Japan will host the same set-up as Indonesia.”

Source: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/07/16/1720100/sbp-firms-3-way-bid

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