Preparations for 2023 FIBA World Cup ongoing, assures SBP

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2020 02:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The global health crisis due to the novel coronavirus did not stop the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) from working on the country's hosting of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Executive director Sonny Barrios and director of operations Butch Antonio said they remain in contact with FIBA, as well as with the basketball federations of Japan and Indonesia, the countries co-hosting the flagship event along with the Philippines.

"Sila ED (Barrios), together with myself, we've been having a lot of meetings, preparing as early as now for the hosting of the 2023 World Cup," Antonio said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

"Kausap po natin ang ating mga co-host madalas, ang Japan and Indonesia through their respective representatives. It's been a busy lockdown for SBP," he added.

In May, it was announced that the 2023 FIBA World Cup will take place from August 25 to September 10, with the group phases to be held in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, and the final phase to take place in Manila.

Barrios revealed on Tuesday that the three countries have already agreed on a logo for the event, although it remains subject to the approval of the FIBA central board. Scheduling a formal reveal of the logo is also a difficult task because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Basketball New Zealand chief executive David Crocker has been appointed as event director, Barrios also said.

"We have regular video conferences with Mr. Crocker, and regular video conferences with Japan and Indonesia. Our working group has regular monthly updates with our big bosses -- Mr. (Manny V.) Pangilinan, Mr. (Al) Panlilio, Mr. (Ricky) Vargas," he added.

"Very vibrant and active 'yang project nating 'yan," Barrios assured.

The road to the 2023 World Cup officially began last February with the start of the European pre-qualifiers, which will qualify eight teams to the European qualifiers. Set to follow later in 2020, the FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas pre-qualifiers will qualify four teams to the Americas qualifiers.

Qualification to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will take place from November 2021 to February 2023, with 80 national teams competing for a spot in the World Cup. The first window of qualification will be played from November 22-30, 2021.

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