MANILA, Philippines -- The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is ramping up its preparations for the country’s co-hosting of the FIBA Basketball World Cup (FBWC) 2023 with Japan and Indonesia after the completion of the Strategic Planning Session of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).
The SBP's planning for the World Cup started immediately after FIBA awarded the hosting of the event to the three Asian countries in December of 2017. This included visits to different venues in China for their hosting of the 2019 World Cup.
The day-and-a-half planning session held last weekend at the Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas, formalized the completion of the LOC with the gathering of personalities, all experts in their respective fields, working closely together to host the best World Cup in history.
The event was attended by the top brass of the SBP led by chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, president Al Panlilio, executive director Sonny Barrios, executive advisor to the president Ricky Vargas, and special assistant to the president coach Ryan Gregorio.
With constant coordination with the FIBA office in Geneva, Switzerland, the LOC bared the plans and requirements for all of the three primary divisions, particularly Operations, Support, and the FIBA World Congress.
Ramon Suzara, the author and chief implementor of the FBWC 2023 Master Plan, introduced the rationale and core concepts of the undertaking, while deputy event director Erika Dy discussed the vision, mission, and objectives.
According to Panlilio, the planning session will be crucial to the success of the SBP’s hosting of the World Cup as it was important for all the LOC members to be on the same page. He added the task may be daunting but everyone is ready to step up to the challenge.
"Having this session helped us in creating concrete plans and contingencies for our hosting of the World Cup," said Panlilio. "It also showed how committed we are in not only giving a good show to the world but also be gracious hosts to our visitors."
Panlilio also paid tribute to Pangilinan for his vision, passion, love for the sport, and, most of all, love for the country.
"This hosting is MVP's lasting gift to our nation. Together, we will show the world that having a shared passion leads to a strong nation," he continued.
Vargas, for his part, stressed the need for the entire complement to develop chemistry in the execution and implementation of the master plan, equating chemistry to the popular Filipino concept of “bayanihan.”
"This hosting is not just the SBP's as each and every Filipino is part of this hosting," said Vargas. "We are hoping that during the buildup to the World Cup, each and every Filipino joins hands in welcoming our guests and to help us showcase the value of 'bayanihan' to the world."
For Pangilinan, who also serves as a FIBA Central Board member, it will be important to always have an eye on the objective, which is to prove that the Filipino can host a world-class event that will even go beyond the standards and expectations of FIBA.
"The FIBA World Cup is not just any other event as this is the biggest tournament in world basketball. We will be exhausting all our efforts and resources to prove to the world that the Philippines can organize and host the world's biggest sporting events," said Pangilinan.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will be held in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from August 10 to September 25.