SBP officially submits letter of intent for FIBA OQT hosting
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine basketball federation formally submitted to FIBA its letter of intent to host the 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) slated for July 4 to 10.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios made the confirmation to Rappler on Tuesday, October 20. The deadline for countries to submit their expression of interest to host was on Monday, October 19.
The Philippines is looking to become one of 3 hosts for the wildcard tournament which will see 18 teams divided into 3 groups with the winner from each group qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to 21. (READ: With PBA Gilas support, SBP's next step is bid for OQT hosting)
Other countries reportedly bidding to host include Canada, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Russia, Germany, and Serbia.
According to FIBA Communications Director Patrick Koller, the timeline for the bidding process is as follows:
- October 19: Deadline for FIBA Asia Championship participants to submit expression of interest to host
- November 23: Bidding process concludes; FIBA’s Executive Committee to award hosting of 4 events (3 men’s OQT and 1 women’s OQT)
- November 24: Draw for OQTs to take place, "applying geographical and quality principles in order to balance the events/groups"
According to Canada’s The Toronto Star, formal bids must be submitted to FIBA by November 11.
Philippine national men's basketball team Gilas Pilipinas earned a slot in the tournament after settling for the silver medal in the recently concluded 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in China. Asian squads Iran and Japan are also included in the OQT.
Other participants of the qualifier are France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, and Czech Republic from Europe; Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico from the Americas; Angola, Tunisia, and Senegal from Africa; and New Zealand from Oceania. The 3 host cities will also get slots in the OQT. (READ: MVP, SBP thank PBA for support to Gilas Pilipinas)
If a qualified team such as the Philippines gets to host, then the next best non-qualified team from the respective zone will join the tournament.
The Philippines is hoping to host and get the advantage of playing before its immensely passionate and loud crowd. The homecourt advantage served as a big boost in Gilas' emotional run to a silver medal finish during the 2013 FIBA Asia in Manila.
Gilas Pilipinas already has a 17-man pool from the PBA in place from which the final 12-man line-up, including naturalized players, will be selected. – Rappler.com