The last time the Philippines hosted the top Asian basketball competition, a team led by Robert Jaworski, Yoyong Martirez, Bogs Adornado, Big Boy Reynoso, and Manny Paner led the home team to the gold medal.
The country would have the privilege of hosting the tournament for the first time in 40 years in August, after FIBA Asia awarded the rights to stage the event in the country Thursday.
“SBP is pleased to accept this rare privilege of hosting the FIBA Asia Championship — a similar event we last hosted 40 years ago,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“Much hard work lies ahead in organizing this event, but we will do our best to make it successful.”
(InterAKTV is part of InterAksyon.com, the news site of TV5, which is chaired by Pangilinan.)
The 1973 team, which defeated South Korea 90-78 in the finals of what was then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship, was coached by Tito Eduque and also included Francis Arnaiz, Joy Cleofas, Jimmy Mariano, Tembong Melencio, Dave Regullano, as well as up-and-coming centers Abet Guidaben and Ramon Fernandez.
The task to duplicate the feat would fall on the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team, which is coached by Chot Reyes.
The FIBA Asia Championship is a 16-team tournament that serves as a qualifier to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. The top three finishers of the Asian tilt will earn berths to the world competition.
FIBA Asia had originally awarded the hosting rights to the event, set August 1 to 11, to Lebanon. But regional tensions forced the cage body to transfer the tournament to the Philippines.