Top officials from FIBA are currently in the country to lend their expertise to their counterparts from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as they try to ensure a hassle-free hosting of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila set this July 4-10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
SBP deputy director for international affairs Butch Antonio said FIBA head of operations Predrag Bogosavlev and FIBA-Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian made the rounds at the Pasay basketball arena and accredited hotels within Pasay City, which will serve as official venues for players and FIBA officials this July.
“Mr. Bogey (Bogosavlev’s nickname) and Mr. Hagop visited the playing venue at Mall of Asia today and made their visits in the hotels after that to ensure that we follow the guidelines provided by the Host Nation Agreement,” Antonio told FOX Sports, moments after emerging from a meeting with the 2 Fiba officials.
Antonio explained that the FIBA visit will hopefully help the SBP come out with world-class Olympic Qualifying Tournament hosting as NBA stars like Tony Parker of France, Andrew Wiggins from Canada and several others will make Manila their stomping ground for 5 days this July.
“They’ve made their recommendations for us to execute while we also try to find a common ground towards giving the best hosting in the qualifying tournament,” he said.
“We know the hosting will not be a walk in the park, but at least, with them coming over, it will be easier,” added Antonio.
Antonio believes the Philippines is up to the challenge to host the Manila leg of the Olympic qualifying tournament, especially since the SBP was able to successfully hold the 2013 Fiba-Asia men’s championships, also at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The last 2 years also saw the Philippines host the Manila leg of the Fiba 3×3 at the SM Megamall and Robinsons Place-Malate, respectively. — By Richard Dy/Photos from FIBA