After the Philippines lost its bid to host next year’s FIBA Asia Championship, some of the country’s top basketball personalities couldn’t help but express their surprise and disappointment over the decision to award the rights to Lebanon.
SMART-Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes took to Twitter to point out that unlike the Philippine contingent led by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan and PBA commissioner Chito Salud, Lebanon’s presentation was handled by its players.
Pinapunta pa si @iammvp at si Com Salud, I bibigay din pala sa lugar na malapit sa gyera at player lang Ang nag present. Tsk tsk tsk!
— Chot Reyes (@coachot) September 19, 2012
(InterAKTV is part of InterAksyon.com, the news site of TV5, which is chaired by Pangilinan.)
The top three finishers in the FIBA Asia Championship will qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and holding the event would give the host country a homecourt edge.
Former SMART-Gilas team captain Chris Tiu, a veteran international campaigner, noted that Lebanon’s basketball facilities don’t compare to what is available in the Philippines, and hinted that something fishy went on.
@charlestiu I’m sure it was influenced again. Their facilities are not Better than ours.
— Christopher Tiu (@chris_tiu) September 19, 2012
FIBA Asia secretary-general Hagop Khajirian is, incidentally, a Lebanese national.
Another former national player, Asi Taulava, had stronger words to say about basketball facilities in the West Asian nation.
Da biggest gym not arena in Lebanonis not bigger den den San juan arena n its old. Did Lebanon just drop sum $$$ 2 host Fiba Asia? SMH
— DA ROCK (@AsiTaulava5) September 19, 2012
» Asi Taulava sees young Jimmy Alapag in San Miguel Beer teammate Chris Banchero
» Gilas eyeing tuneup matches with NBA summer league teams, chances pegged at 50-50
» Lithuania training ‘very productive’ but not enough, says Gilas coach Chot Reyes