LIVING up to its billing as one of the basketball hotbeds in the world, the Philippines has been chosen to be part of the FIBA Trophy Tour for the coming World Cup.
The notice was relayed to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio on Friday on the eve of the drawing of lots for the August 31-Sept. 15 meet in China.
The FIBA Trophy will be in the country for three to five days sometime in July, according to SBP Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio.
“We are thrilled to have you as part of the Trophy Tour and believed this will be very beneficial for you in order to create excitement for 2019, but also further along to present yourself as the host in 2023,” FIBA said in a letter to Panlilio.
Panlilio and Gregorio joined PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan as part of the advanced Philippine party attending Saturday’s FIBA draw in Shenzhen, China.
The group will link up with the rest of the PBA board along with Commissioner Willie Marcial during the draw proper.
“This is proof that the alignment between the PBA and SBP is solid as ever. With the strengthened alignment, the country will obviously benefit,” said Panlilio.
Representatives of the 32 countries had also arrived in China for the drawing of lots which will be graced by no less than NBA great Kobe Bryant.