President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the 3-man FIBA Evaluation Commission upon its arrival Thursday night to inspect facilities that will be used should the country, which is bidding to co-host the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, get the nod from the FIBA Central Board in December.
FIBA Central Board and Commission president Hamane Niang of Mali, FIBA Central Board member and treasurer Ingo Weiss of Germany and advisor to the FIBA secretary-general Lubomir Kotleba of Slovak Republic paid Duterte a courtesy call at the Mahogany Room of the Manila Hotel before embarking on a two-day ocular inspection of the Philippine International Convention Center, Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena and the Philippine Arena.
They were accompanied by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez.
Present, among others, were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, SBP president Al Panlilio, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios and SBP deputy executive director for international affairs Butch Antonio.
The Philippines, along with Japan and Indonesia, is pulling out all stops to gain a favorable decision from the world governing body for basketball to be able to house the prestigious international tournament in the sport, featuring the best 32 teams from 32 countries all over the world.
The 2023 FIBA World Cup is also the qualifier for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
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