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    Refurbished Astrodome eyed as secondary venue

    Jan 15, 2013

    THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas wants to put its best foot forward in its hosting of the Fiba-Asia championship, so much so that it is also making sure that the secondary venue will be presentable to the teams.

    Although Fiba-Asia is not strict in terms of the qualities of the secondary venue, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said that they want to make sure that it will be as impressive as the main venue — the Mall of Asia Arena.

    “Maganda sa atin na ang secondary venue, puwede nating ipagyabang,” said Barrios during Tuesday’s PSA Forum.

    The state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena will be the site for most of the games with the other venue to be used for the other matches in the eliminations. Among the venues being considered are the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and the Cuneta Astrodome.

    “We don’t really need a big capacity venue for the secondary. Ang totoo niyan, I don’t know if I should use the term, diyan ‘yung mga not-so-attractive games. Kaya hindi sila ganoon ka-strict sa capacity and facility,” Barrios said.

    “As long as playable according to their standards, puwede na sa kanila,” he added.

    Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia has offered the free use of the Ninoy Aquino Stadium as a second venue for the games, saying the arena has also passed Fiba-Asia standards.

    Barrios confirmed he and Fiba-Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian inspected the venue last year when the country was bidding to host the Asian championship of basketball.

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    “Frankly, ang comment lang niya (Khajirian), it needs a fresh coat of paint,” he said.

    Barrios said that SBP has yet to inspect the recently-renovated Cuneta Astrodome, owned by the Pasay City government.

    “We will do that (inspect) and take a look. Of course, iba ang may-ari niyan (Pasay City). we will see if we could get a good deal from Pasay City,” Barrios said.

    “’Yung point na maganda na daw ngayon ang Cuneta, it’s very valid and we should explore that. If the arrangements are more than attractive, we would consider that (Cuneta) so that we can put our best foot forward,” he said.

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