SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Manuel V. Pangilinan, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, and the representatives of the cities of Makati, Manila, and Pasay signed a covenant on Friday at the Dusit Hotel Manila for the staging of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in Manila from August 1-11.
“Importante kasi kailangan ng SBP ang support ng local government for the success of the tournament,” said Pangilinan.
“The different cities will help in providing the hotels for the players, the VIPs, team officials, and referees. They will also be providing security for the entire event. It’s an important event not just for Philippine basketball but also for the country. It’s a terrific opportunity to show the world that we can host a world-class event. If successful, this can open the door for other big or even bigger events.”
Although Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto was unable to attend the event, through his representative Dennis Acorda, the recently re-elected mayor conveyed his support and noted that, “It’s a formidable team that we have here and I am not just referring to the athletes. This is a dream team (along with Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr. and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada) and with a member whose initials is ‘MVP’, I don’t know how we can possibly lose.”
Acorda detailed the extent of the support of the city of Pasay: “We extended the use of the recently refurbished Cuneta Astrodome for practices, free of use, for all the teams. And we will be coordinating with the MMDA and PNP for traffic and the safety of everyone for these games. This is a big deal also for the city of Pasay.”
MMDA Chairman Tolentino said that although there will be no traffic re-routing schemes, they “will assist in the traffic and crowd management in and around the event areas.”
“It’s a total effort,” summed up Pangilinan. “To demonstrate to the guest delegations our particular brand of hospitality. This isn’t just about basketball, it’s about putting our best foot forward.”
The basketball matches of the Fiba Asia tournament will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City as well as the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
The 2013 Fiba Asia Championship is only the second time that the Philippines will be hosting the prestigious international basketball tournament. The last time the Philippines hosted Fiba was in 1973 and was the last time the country won a major basketball tournament. Awaiting the top three countries is a slot of at the Fiba World Championship in Spain next year.