FIBA: Work underway to improve World Cup venues, assures SBP

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2022 04:07 PM

Photo courtesy of the SBP.
FIBA and SBP officials at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Photo courtesy of the SBP.

MANILA, Philippines -- The venues for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 are already being renovated with just a little over a year before the tournament, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said.

The Philippines will co-host the World Cup together with Japan and Indonesia, with games to be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena, and the Philippine Arena.

FIBA officials visited the three venues for an ocular inspection in May.

"In general, overall, they were pleased with what they saw," SBP executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios said of the reaction of the FIBA officials to the venues.

"Having said that, meron siyempreng tinatawag na areas for improvement na pinoint out nila sa atin," he admitted.

Barrios was quick to assure that action is already being taken to work on those "areas for improvement." The Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, in particular, is undergoing renovation.

"Very committed ang management of Smart Araneta Coliseum to comply with the requirements of FIBA. Ganoon din po 'yung SM Mall of Asia Arena at saka Philippine Arena," said Barrios.

The SBP has also gotten the commitment of San Miguel Corporation for the use of Skyway 3 during the World Cup, along with other infrastructure and vehicles that they may need.

"Sumulat kami kay Mr. [Ramon S.] Ang, kung pwedeng magamit ang ating mga team bus at team vehicles. Immediately, he said yes, no questions asked," Barrios said.

"Si Mr. Ang, walang kahirap-hirap. Lahat ho ng hiningi ng SBP, ibinigay niya. Sabi nga niya, okay 'yan, gamitin niyo 'yan. Kung gusto niyo, may escort pa 'yung mga team bus," he added.

"Nakakataba talaga ng puso ang support na nakukuha natin from different sectors."

The 2023 FIBA World Cup will run from August 25 to September 10, with the final phase set to be held at the Philippine Arena.

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