Manny Pangilinan mum on cost involved in making a bid for 2019 FIBA World Cup
SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan, Manny Pacquiao and Fil-Am actor Lou Diamond Phillips hold court in a press conference on the morning of the presentation. Photo from Twitter page of @PUSO2019

BIDDING for the hosting of the 2019 Fiba World Cup alone is as costly as staging it.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan admitted having spent a fortune as the country lobbies to bring the world basketball championship back to Manila four years from now in a bidding war against China.

The hosting rights will be awarded by Fiba on Friday night in Tokyo, Japan.

“Yes we did,” said Pangilinan when asked by about the matter before he left for the Japanese capital this week for the bidding presentation. “So far it’s been private money.”

But the chairman of PLDT and Smart Communications was subtle in disclosing the financial terms involved.

“You know I was travelling to Bulacan once and I was taught by a friend how not to answer questions,” he replied smiling.

A press release by the SBP on the eve of the bidding presentation though mentioned Fiba set a minimum tender of 8 million euros or the equivalent of P460 million.

Of course, that’s apart from the cost that will entail hosting the world’s biggest basketball event last staged here in 1978.

“We were already warned by Mr. (Patrick) Baumann (Fiba secretary general) when I was in Madrid. He said, ‘Mr. Pangilinan, don’t underestimate the scope and work that you will do. It will need at least 10 times your hosting of the Fiba-Asia in 2013 what the Fiba World Cup is,” recalled the SBP official.

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