WHILE it may be a longshot, The Arena in San Juan has been offered as possible second venue or even as practice facility for the coming FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship.
San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada said he and the local government are willing to offer the stadium as a way of supporting the country’s hosting of the meet serving as qualifier for the 2014 world championships.
"The local government of San Juan can prepare should the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) choose The Arena as a venue for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship,” said Ejercito Estrada.
For years, the Arena has been home to games of both the UAAP ands NCAA.
But while the SBP welcomes the gracious offer, executive director Sonny Barrios said Fiba-Asia has `a very strong say’ on the choice of venues in staging the event.
He stressed the cage body certainly likes the location of the hotels and team facilities closer to the tournament’s main venue - Mall of Asia Arena – which is the reason why the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and even the Astrodome are being considered as possible secondary venue.
Nonetheless, Ejercito Estrada, a senatoriable candidate, urges the entire basketball-loving Filipinos to rally behind Gilas Pilipinas in its bid to make it back to the world Championships.
“This is a great opportunity for all of us to be united for a particular goal and that is to motivate our national team to qualify for the world championship," said Ejercito Estrada. "If our players see that their countrymen are behind them 100 percent, I'm confident that they will be able to achieve their goal."
"The country's hosting of the Fiba-Asia championships will surely put us back on the international basketball map. It will also give our athletes more exposure to international competitions," Ejercito Estrada said.