Alapag on failed FIBA bid: 'It's another step forward for PH basketball'
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines may have lost the opportunity to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, but for local basketball legend Jimmy Alapag, the country still took a step forward.
"I know everyone involved from the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) to boss Manny V. Pangilinan and really the entire delegation, to have the champ Manny Pacquiao and Lou Diamond (Phillips) to take time out of the busy schedule to go out there and really show their support for the country and for the sport – I think it meant a lot and we really don't have anything to be ashamed of," said the 37-year old former national team player and comebacking PBA player who was also part of the Philippine bid delegation.
"Hopefully it's just another step forward for us, for Philippine basketball, Philippine sports and ultimately for the entire country. I'm just really proud of how we represented both."
"You have to move on. There's really no sense feeling bad for how we did." – Jimmy Alapag
The Philippines lost the bidding war to China last Friday, August 7 by a 14-7 vote from the FIBA Central Board – a stinging defeat after a heartfelt 20-minute presentation that aimed to pull down the Chinese powerhouse with the country's basketball story.
But Alapag, an icon for Philippine basketball even in the international scene, remains confident the country left a good impression upon the world even if the International Basketball Federation chose to play it safe with a more experienced China.
"I think we definitely made an impression not just on the FIBA board," said Alapag, who spoke during the presentation about his rich personal experience of how much Filipinos love basketball.
"That was broadcast all over the world through FIBA so I think it just gave the rest of the world another glimpse of what basketball is like here in our country and hopefully it sets the foundation that hopefully we get the FIBA World Cup here."
"It's obviously disappointing that we didn't get the bid. But at the same time, we represented the country, and really Philippine basketball, the best we could," added Alapag. (READ:#SugatangPUSO2019: Netizens heartbroken)
"You have to move on. There's really no sense feeling bad for how we did." – Rappler.com