EVEN in the bidding for next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the road won't be easy for the Philippines.
Other than the Philippines, nine other countries are eyeing to host one of three simultaneous qualifiers for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics set July 4 to 10, including Asian rival Iran.
Also in the running to stage the week-long meet that will determine the last three slots to the basketball competition of the Summer Olympics are Germany, Greece, Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, and Turkey.
The announcement was made by Fiba on Monday, with the winners to be known on November 23.
The Philippines earlier looked like a cinch to host one of the three qualifiers as it was the only Asian nation on the initial list to signify an intention to make a bid, which it passed to Fiba on October 16, or three days before the deadline, along with the confirmation fee of 20,000 euros.
However, the late entry of Iran gives the Philippines stiff competition for the Asia tournament if the world governing body for basketball decides to spread the three tournaments among its different zones.
Seven of the bidding countries had qualified for all three tournaments, and should any of them win the hosting rights, the best non-qualified teams from their respective continents will be invited to participate in the qualifiers as per a Fiba ruling.
Germany, Turkey, and Israel will only be able to participate in the qualifiers of they are granted the hosting rights.
Other countries which are seeing action in the qualifiers but did not make intention of bidding for the staging of the three meets are Angola, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Senegal, and Tunisia.
At the same time, Fiba listed a five-point evaluation criteria in determining the host countries of the three qualifiers, among them the best possible conditions for players, state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, first class events for spectators, teams, media, and broadcasters, commercial partners and stakeholders, along with the benefits the hosting will be bring to the host nation and Fiba itself.
An evaluation of all bids will take place following the final submission of candidature on November 11.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) made an all-out move to bid for the hosting of the 2019 Fiba World Cup recently, but lost to China in their one-on-one bidding contest.
The country did a successful hosting, though, of the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship in Manila, in which Gilas Pilipinas finished runner-up behind Iran to punch a ticket to the world basketball championship for the first time in 35 years.