Baumann, FIBA execs flies to PH for ocular inspection
MANILA, Philippines – A three-man FIBA Evaluation Commission is flying in Tuesday, January 27 to inspect venues and assess the Philippines' capability to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said flying in are sports director Lubo Kotleba, director general for media and marketing Frank Leenders and events director Predrag Bogosavljev aboard separate flights.
Patrick Baumann, secretary-general of FIBA, is arriving later on Thursday, January 29 to confer with his group in an overnight stay which could include a courtesy call on President Benigno Aquino III.
The Philippines, which hosted the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and will house the 2015 SEABA U16 tournament - the qualifier for the FIBA Asia U16 Championship, is bidding to host the world championship and is in the midst of stiff competition with bidding rivals China, Turkey, Qatar, and a combined group from Germany and France.
The FIBA Evaluation Commission will inspect the 55,000-sitting capacity Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan and the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Tuesday morning.
A visit to EDSA Shangri-La and Sofitel as potential event hotels is next, followed by a trip to the Mall of Asia Arena, where the FIBA Asia Championship was held, for a ringside taste of Filipino fan reaction with the PBA Commissioner’s Cup game between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco.
A flight to Cebu Wednesday is next aboard a private jet of SBP president and Smart/PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan to inspect the site where billionaire businessman Henry Sy’s SM Group is putting up a sprawling state-of-the-art sports facility within the next couple of years.
They will have lunch with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, fly back to Manila, listen to a presentation from Solaire Hotel and later attend a private dinner hosted by top SBP executives led by Pangilinan.
Foreign Affairs Sec. Alberto del Rosario is also hosting a welcome dinner for Baumann on Thursday.
The Philippines previously hosted the FIBA World Championship in 1978, with the Araneta Coliseum and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum as venues. Yugoslavia, starring Drazen Dalipagic, defeated the former Soviet Union in overtime, 82-81, in the final game.
All final bids will be submitted on or before April 30, with the FIBA Central Board deliberating on the merits of the proposals and eventually deciding on the winning bid in its June meeting. – Rappler.com
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