THE country’s hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup remains safe and sound.
At least it’s the silver lining that came out of FIBA’s decision to suspend 10 players and two coaches of Gilas Pilipinas who were involved in the massive brawl that marred the team’s World Cup qualifier against Australia last July 2.
“It was not mentioned (World Cup hosting) and that’s good,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio, who presided over the hastily assembled press conference at the PLDT office in Makati on Thursday to discuss the sanctions and fines meted on erring players and officials by the world governing body on basketball.
“When I say it could have been worse, it (hosting) could have been there.”
The country’s first hosting of the world championship in 45 years became a major concern of the SBP in the aftermath of one of the worst brawls that took place in an international basketball game.
Panlilio was grateful for FIBA for calling a spade a spade.
“I think it’s very clear now that the focus of the sanctions were all on the FIBA World Cup and our upcoming games,” said the top SBP official. “Again it could have been worse.”
The Philippines last hosted the world championship in 1978.