FOLLOWING Smart Gilas-Pilipinas’ successful conquest of the 34th William Jones Cup, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Salud said it will fully support the country’s bid to host the 2013 Fiba-Asia Championship.
The country is among the to bidders to host the qualifying event for the 2014 Fiba-World Championships in Spain, along with Lebanon and Japan.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is set to make a power point presentation of the country’s hosting plans during the Fiba Asia Congress in Tokyo, Japan next month simultaneous with the Fiba-Asia Cup.
“I’m looking forward to joining the SBP in Japan as the PBA lends its unequivocal support to its quest to have Manila host the 2013 Asian qualifying tournament for the world basketball championship in 2014,” Salud said.
Fiba secretary-general Hagop Khajirian recently visited the country and made an ocular inspection of the Mall of Asia Arena to assess the country’s capability to host an event as big as the Fiba-Asia.
“We highly value our country’s strong relations with Fiba in Asia under the dynamic leadership of secretary general Hagop (Khajirian) of Lebanon, and will therefore stand side-by-side with it in its role in developing Asian basketball to its peak,” added Salud.
At the same time, Salud believes the victory of Smart Gilas-Pilipinas is a testament to the gains made by the country as it tries to make its way back to the top echelon of Asian basketball.
“Our country has just taken a giant step towards re-establishing our rightful place among the top powers in Asia,” the commissioner said. “I’m extremely happy for the boys and the fans and proud of Philippine basketball.”
He added the brand of PBA basketball “has toughened up our boys for international competition.”
“Di pwede lalamya lamya. Di pwede saksak lang ng saksak in the hope of getting a bail-out call. We must further develop and strengthen our mid- to long-range shooting, along with our free throws,” said Salud.
“Most important of all, dapat may poise and experience to be competitive against taller and bigger opponents,” said Salud.
The commissioner was with some members of the PBA Board -- chairman Robert Non, vice-chairman Ramon Segismundo, Talk `N Text’s Patrick Gregorio – and media bureau chief Willie Marcial in the Chinese-Taipei capital since Thursday.
Along with Marcial and Non, Salud was slated to return to Manila on Sunday, but deferred their return trip after the Nationals reinforced their title bid with a 76-72 win over Chinese-Taipei A on the penultimate day of the annual tournament.