Basketball

Philippines to host 2013 FIBA Asia Championship

InterAksyon.com file/Bernard Testa

InterAksyon.com file/Bernard Testa

The Philippines won the rights to host the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship set on August 1 to 11.

No less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan made the announcement in a text message circulated Thursday evening.

(InterAKTV is part of InterAksyon.com, the news site of TV5, which is chaired by Pangilinan.)

FIBA Asia had earlier awarded hosting rights to the event to Lebanon, but tensions in the region forced the regional cage body to look for other options.

“Unfortunately, the current situation in the region and the on-going civil war in Syria, which has its indirect effect on the countries in the whole of West Asia, especially on Lebanon, creates doubts about the stability that we might not have, at least, till the fixed dates of our event,” FIBA Asia secretary-general Hagop Khajirian told the FIBA Asia website.

“In view of these facts, FIBA Asia Executive Committee decided to change the venue of the 27th FIBA Asia Championship from Beirut-Lebanon to Manila-Philippines.”

Last September, Pangilinan led a delegation of SBP officials to make a comprehensive presentation before the FIBA Asia board in Japan to convince the Philippines’ fitness to host the tournament. The cage body, however, decided to go with Lebanon, but noted the Philippines would be next in line should the original choice prove to be unfit.

The FIBA Asia Championship serves as qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team coached by Chot Reyes will represent the country in the competition.

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