MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will host the 27th FIBA Asia Championships, which will serve as the qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
The FIBA Asia Executive Committee has decided to grant the Philippines the hosting rights given the current situation in Lebanon, where the event was originally slated.
“Unfortunately, the current situation in the region and the on-going civil war in Syria, which has its indirect effect on the countries in the whole of West Asia, especially on Lebanon, creates doubts about the stability that we might not have, at least, till the fixed dates of our event,” said FIBA Asia Secretary General Hagop Khajirian in the world basketball body’s website.
The FIBA Asia Championship is scheduled to take place on August 1 to 11.
The Philippines had been one of the bidders at the FIBA Asia Executive Committee meeting last September, where it was initially decided to award the hosting rights to Lebanon.
“We are honored to host this prestigious event,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Renauld “Sonny” Barrios.
“We thank FIBA Asia, in particular Secretary General Hagop Khajirian, for giving us this privilege, which will give great happiness and enjoyment to the millions of Filipino basket ball fans,” he added.
The last time the country hosted such a big basketball event was when Manila hosted the 1973 edition of the FIBNA Asia Championship.