MANNY V. Pangilinan has given assurance that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is ready to provide additional security to any of the teams set to participate in the Fiba-Asia men’s championships next month if the need arises.
Pangilinan made the assurance in response to concerns over the August 3 clash between Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese Taipei - a match that is expected to be highly charged owing to the diplomatic tension between the two countries over the death of a death of a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters.
Consequently, Gilas won't be able to defend its Jones Cup title this month after Taiwanese organizers withdrew its invitation, earning the ire of Filipino fans.
“I think ang attitude naman namin (SBP) doon is we’ll provide security to all the teams ngayon kung kailangan ng special attention sino man,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan said organizers can tap the Philippine National Police for additional security to ensure that no untoward incident will mar the August 1-11 tournament, which serves as a qualifier to next year's world championships in Spain.
On Friday, the SBP signed a pact with mayors of Manila, Makati, and Pasay, along with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, for the hosting of the meet.