ORGANIZERS of the Fiba-Asia Men's Championships have yet to make special security arrangements for the August 3 match-up between host Philippines and Chinese-Taipei at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Mall of Asia business unit head Arnel Gonzales said standard security protocol will be followed for the highly anticipated encounter unless the organizing Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas makes a request to tighten security within the MOA Arena premises.
“We’re prepared for anything,” Gonzales told Spin.ph. “We also have a standard procedure as far as security is concerned. In fact, some people say kami ang pinaka-strict na venue, which basically is more of a deterrent.”
Gonzales said they have been holding regular talks with the SBP as they prepare for Asia’s biggest basketball tournament, which also serves as the qualifying event for the 2014 world championships in Spain.
The MOA executive also said they are just waiting for any additional request to beef up security for the Gilas Pilipinas-Chinese Taipei match, which has raised security concerns owing to the diplomatic tension stirred by the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters.
Emotions were further inflamed when Taipei organizers withdrew their invitation to the Philippines to defend its Jones Cup title this month.
Still, the August three face-off is not considered a high-risk match - so far.
“For now, in terms of special security setup, there’s no special request yet that the SBP has shared to us. So it’s just seeing how they (SBP) want it done,” said Gonzales.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios has said that the federation hopes the diplomatic tension between the two countries have died down in the days leading to the match-up.