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    PH, co-hosts' buildup for World Cup 'in pretty good shape,' says Fiba

    Apr 15, 2022

    FIBA officials were impressed by the preparations being made by the Philippines and co-hosts Japan and Indonesia less than 500 days before the staging of the Basketball World Cup.

    David Crocker, Fiba Basketball World Cup 2023 executive director, acknowledged the 'really pleasing' progress being made by the continental neighbors in preparation for the first World Cup to be co-hosted by three countries.

    'Progress is really pleasing'

    “The progress here is really pleasing. We have really good confidence in the team,” said Crocker, two months after his initial checkup of preparations being done in Manila.

    “It sounds like it could be complex, but it’s been a great collaboration among the three countries. They are working exceptionally well together. It’s being well-led by the Philippine group, they are the first among equals here, and they’re doing a great job of bringing their partners along. Right now, we’re in really good shape.”

    Crocker, Fiba treasurer Inigo Weiss, and Fiba senior manager Guillemette Juilliart arrived last Tuesday and proceeded to meet with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) executive board composed of Manny V. Pangilinan, Al Panlilio, Ricky Vargas, and Sonny Barrios as well as other key persons from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

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      Weiss meanwhile, commended the Filipinos’ undying passion for the sport led by no less than Pangilinan, the SBP chairman emeritus.

      “He’s very enthusiastic. You feel everybody is supporting MVP, and it’s good to see the people for this World Cup get his support,” said Weiss.

      “It’s great because you need a leader who’s in the driver’s seat of the car who brings everything forward. It’s great because this will be historic, this is the first time we are playing the World Cup in three countries.”

      The Fiba officials and the LOC reiterated their singular vision of making the 2023 World Cup a historic affair, not just in terms of hosting, but also in its cultural impact.

      “We want to be the most watched, most viewed event in sports in 2023. We want an event that is accessible and exciting and across the three countries, we hope to see the real engagement among people,” said Crocker about the August 25 to September 10 event.

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      The World Cup mascot is set to be unveiled soon, and countdown clocks are close to being put up in the three host cities – Manila, Okinawa, and Jakarta.

      Aside from the tournament, the Philippines is also hosting the FIBA World Congress, where representatives from 212 countries will gather to discuss plans regarding the sport, as well as determine the governing body’s next officials.

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