THE Philippines is seeking clarification from the Fiba-Asia executive board regarding its choice as an alternative host should Lebanon back out from staging the 2013 Fiba-Asia Championship For Men.
Lebanon has been awarded the hosting rights for the qualifying event for the 2014 World Basketball Championship but the Philippines has been informed that it would be asked to stage the event should Lebanon fail to do so.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios said they will send a formal letter to Fiba-Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian, giving the Asian body until November 30 to inform the Philippines about any changes.
The deadline was necessary to give the Philippines enough time to prepare to host the tournament set September next year, he added.
Reading a part of the letter during Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate, Barrios said: “We would be grateful if you can inform to us by way of a written note that the Philippines is the alternative host for the 2013 Fiba-Asia Championship For Men as decided by the Fiba-Asia Executive Board in its meeting last week.
“In the event that the foregoing default option is exercised by Fiba-Asia, you would appreciate that we will need sufficient time to arrange the necessary logistical requirements for holding of an event of this scale and complexity.”
The letter, according to Barrios, was a collaboration of four minds. It was he who drafted the letter together with SBP vice-chairman Ricky Vargas, and former Fiba-Asia secretary-general Moying Martelino, before SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan finalized it.
The SBP official said the seven to eight months duration should be enough to give the country the needed preparation to stage the tournament last held here in 1973.
“That’s the timeline we’re looking at it right now,” Barrios said. “I think that span of time is very reasonable. Hindi naman puwedeng next week sabihan natin yung Fiba-Asia, hoy, puwede ba sabihin ninyo na kung kami o hindi.”
Barrios however, said SBP will have to re-think its stand in the event Fiba-Asia knocks on its door at a date later than Nov. 30.
“Even assuming na gusto natin, ang tanong, kakayanin ba?,” asked the SBP executive director. “Baka mamaya hindi na available `yung mga previous na nag-commit sa atin. In such case, we’ll try to offer them alternative plans. Pero ok ba naman sa kanila yun?”
That’s why the earlier the SBP is informed of any changes in the hosting venue, the better, since the cage body has to take into consideration too, the schedule of the playing venue, television coveror, hotel billeting, transportation, among others.
“We’re very accommodating naman. Bigyan lang tayo ng tamang panahon, bibigay natin `yung pinaka-magandang hosting sa kanila,” said Barrios, also a former PBA commissioner.