THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is banking on the so-called ‘Power of 3’ and the certainty that the basketball bar would be raised if and when the Philippines gets the nod as the main host of the FIBA World Cup in 2023.
SBP president Al Panlilio hopes such ‘compelling proposal’ would be enough to convince the FIBA Central Committee to choose the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia as the rightful stage for the world basketball championship six years from now over Argentina and Uruguay.
It’s the first time in history that FIBA is looking to have two to three countries co-host the so-called Olympics of basketball and what perfect way to hold it than in a place where people are very passionate about the sport.
“I think we have a compelling proposition that we brought forward to FIBA,” said Panlilio, joined by SBP executive director Sonny Barrios during a press conference held at the Meralco compound on Monday prior to the departure of the SBP team to Switzerland for the final presentation of the country’s hosting bid on Saturday.
It was SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan who thought about the possibility of a multi-nation hosting of the World Cup shortly after the country fell short against China in its initial bid to bring here the 2019 edition of the quadrennial meet.
Pangilinan has sought the help of Japan (Okinawa) and Indonesia (Jakarta) to co-host the cage tournament.
“Imagine 500 million population among the three countries would be watching together the FIBA World Cup in the region (come 2023),” said Panlilio.
“If in FIBA’s mind, it wants to raise the level of the World Cup, then they would want to have the next hosting to be even higher than what China would be able to bring in 2019.”
“I feel personally that we have a strong chance, but it’s still 50-50.”
Led by Pangilinan, the SBP team is set to leave for Switzerland on Thursday. The winning bid will be announced on Saturday morning.
To further boost the country's hosting bid, the SBP also launched the hashtag #playlouderin2023 to drum up interest on the matter, recalling how the federation also did the same in 2015 when the hashtag #PUSO went viral as part of its campaign bid for the 2019 World Cup hosting.