Philippines named one of 2016 FIBA OQT host countries
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Philippines will be one of the 3 hosts for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set for July 4 to 10, world basketball governing body FIBA announced on Tuesday, January 19.
The other two nations which will host the tournaments are Italy and Serbia.
The Philippines had missed out on an outright spot in the 2016 Summer Olympic basketball tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by finishing second at the FIBA Asia Championship last year, but earned the right to participate in the qualifiers, as did Angola, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Serbia and Tunisia.
The tournament will see 18 national teams from FIBA’s primary events divided into 3 competitions of 6. The winner from each tilt, for a total of 3 countries, will qualify for Rio 2016. The draw will take place January 26.
Lebanon, which finished fourth at the FIBA Asia tilt in 2015, will now earn passage to the qualifiers thanks to the Philippines' hosting, while the naming of Serbia and Italy means Latvia and Croatia are also joining the qualifiers.
YES!! PHILIPPINES TO HOST FIBA OLYMPIC QUALIFYING IN JULY. LABAN PILIPINAS! PUSO!— Manny V. Pangilinan (@iamMVP) January 19, 2016
Philippine basketball will be trying to earn its first appearance at the Olympic basketball tournament since 1972.
The hosting rights for the Olympic qualifier is a consolation prize for the Philippines after losing out to China for hosting rights to the 2019 FIBA World Cup this past August. The last FIBA tournament hosted by the Philippines was in 2013, when the country held the FIBA Asia Championship, where they finished silver behind Iran.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan thanked FIBA for being awarded the hosting rights in a statement shortly after the announcement.
"SBP wishes to express its gratitude to FIBA and its Executive Committee for giving us one of the hosting rights for the Rio Olympics Qualifying," the statement reads.
"I wish to convey to FIBA President Horacio Muratore and Secretary General Patrick Baumann SBP's assurances that it will do its best in making the event worthy of an Olympic event."
Among the main evaluation criteria considered in naming the host nations were player welfare, stakeholder experience, state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, legacy, and commercial model, a FIBA press release said.
The women's Olympic qualifying tournament, set for June 13 to 19, will take place in France, FIBA announced. – Rappler.com