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    SBP counting on full government support for country's hosting of 2023 Fiba World Cup

    Dec 11, 2017
    SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and president Al Panlilio led the team that sealed the country's hosting of the 2023 World Cup in Geneva. Jerome Ascano

    THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is confident of the government's full support when the country co-hosts the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

    Like in past basketball events staged in the country, the basketball federation expects help from the Philippine government regardless of whoever is in power six years from now.

    "We are more than optimistic that government will be helpful because it (hosting) does help the country," said SBP president Al Panlilio before departing for Manila from Geneva, where the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia were awarded the hosting rights for the 2023 edition of the event formerly known as the World Basketball Championship.

    "We're very confident whoever will be the one in charge," added SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, who was also with Panlilio in Geneva.

    "By our own experience, very supportive naman talaga ang gobyerno natin," added the former PBA commissioner, citing the support extended by former President Aquino when the country also made a similar hosting bid in 2015, and under the current leadership of President Duterte.

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      Panlilio and Barrios were part of the eight-man team led by SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, which clinched the country's co-hosting of the quadrennial meet on Saturday night before the FIBA Central Board.

      The three-nation consortium beat out the joint bid of Argentina and Uruguay.

      More than financial support, government help comes in the form of infrastructure, transportation, and peace and order, according to Senator Sonny Angara, who is also the SBP chairman.

      "We have five years to prepare," Angara pointed out. "Hopefully by that time, train service in Metro Manila has improved, and there will be less traffic so we can encourage basketball fans from neighboring countries to come here."

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      "What government can do is to fix roads, spruce up the city, and take charge of the security."

      The country will hold its presidential election by 2022, a year before the World Cup returns here.

      Being awarded the hosting rights this early, according to Panlilio, gives the SBP and the government ample preparation time for the staging of the World Cup here for the very first time since 1978.

      "We know that we will be hosting it six years before. As early as the China World Cup in 2019, we'll start marketing the event in the Philippines shortly after," according to Panlilio.

      "Like the Olympic cycle four years before the next Olympics will happen, magsisimula na yung build-up natin."

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      SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and president Al Panlilio led the team that sealed the country's hosting of the 2023 World Cup in Geneva. Jerome Ascano
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