MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has been named the host of the 22nd International Basketball Federation (Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball or FIBA) Asia Champions Cup.
The tournament, considered as Asia's premiere club tournament, is slated sometime in May.
The Smart Gilas Pilipinas will be joining the tournament as part of its preparations for the FIBA Men's Cup, which will be held in September in Wuhan, China.
The Asia Champions Cup serves as a qualifier for the 2012 London Olympics.
Earlier, Gilas' Coach Rajko Toroman said the tournament will help them finalize the team's line-up, which will include several Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players, for the Olympics.
However, he said the team will have to participate in 2 PBA conferences to boost its chances in the coming tournaments.
The Philippines has already hosted the Cup twice – once in 1996 and the most recent in 2005. Philippines and Iran have the most titles at 4 each.
However, the country's last title win was in 1996 when Hapee Toothpaste (now Licealiz Shampoo Hair Doctors) thumped Japan's Isuzu Lynx.
As of posting time, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is set to finalize the event's details with FIBA Asia deputy secretary general Hagop Khajirian on January 19. – With reports from ANC and The Philippine Star