THE basketball competitions of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games has been moved from the Mall of Asia Arena to the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) executive director Ramon Suzara confirmed the development in an interview with Judith Caringal of Radyo Pilipinas 2 on Thursday.
Suzara admitted the difficulty of booking the MOA Arena, which is privately owned by the SM Group, for the SEA Games competition prompted the switch.
“Mahirap kuhanin dahil sa mga bookings na matagal ang confirmation. We have a backup plan and we were able to find a solution. So now, basketball will now be in Filoil,” Suzara said in the radio interview.
However, the move is certain to be opposed by fans considering the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), wont to take chances, has already bared plans to field a strong team of PBA players for the SEA Games title defense.
Basketball isn’t the only sport that has changed venues as volleyball, originally slated to be held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, has been moved to the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, a venue owned by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Gymnastics has also been moved to the PSC-owned Rizal Memorial Coliseum from the SMX Convention Center.
“In any multisports, ganun ang proseso especially ‘yung venues that are privately owned. The challenge here is in Metro Manila dahil alam mo naman na ang venues dito are the big venues,” said Suzara.