THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is fully supporting the bid of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to host the FIBA World Cup in 2019, the same year the Southeast Asian Games returns to the country.
POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco said the country’s Olympic body passed a resolution during Wednesday’s general assembly supporting the country’s bid to stage the world basketball championship here four years from now.
“The resolution says the Philippine Olympic Committee is in full support of the efforts of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to get the privilege of hosting the FIBA World Cup 2019,” said Cojuangco on Thursday during the POC’s radio program on DZSR Sports Radio 918.
The show of support by the POC hopes to allay concerns raised by SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan about the country hosting two major sporting events in 2019.
Although the SEA Games is a regional multi-sports event held every two years, Pangilinan is a bit worried hosting both meets in the same year would not sit well with FIBA.
The Philippines is currently in a neck-and-neck battle with China for the right to host the FIBA World Cup.
An SBP delegation headed by Pangilinan is set to leave for Tokyo on August 5 for the country’s formal presentation of its bid on August 7, the same date FIBA will announce which country gets to host the meet.
But Cojuangco assured the POC won’t stand in the way of the SBP as the SEA Games is usually being held later in the year. The FIBA World Cup meanwhile, will most likely be held sometime between July to October.
“Ibang buwan naman mangyayari. ‘Yung SEA Games naman, around Christmas time or maybe late November to early December. I don’t think it will be in the way,” said the POC president.
Cojuangco also said the country’s passion for basketball and the hospitality of which Filipino people is always known for are the major edge SBP have in its bidding war with China.
“He (Patrick Baumann, Fiba secretary general) knows the conditions in the Philippines. He knows the love of the game of the Filipinos. And he knows the hospitality of the Filipinos and the attention that we give when we host. I think those will be plus factors when we start talking about the 2019 FIBA World Cup,” said Cojuangco.