Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios assured basketball fans that security measures are already in place with less than a week to go before the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament kicks off at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Emerging from a meeting presided by FIBA OQT local organizing committee Chief Executive Officer Al Panlilio, Barrios mentioned that they have been in constant communication with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the security group from the MOA Arena to ensure peace and order during the tournament.
“Okay naman from the very start (ang security) because we have an integrated security and crisis management plan in place after having several meetings among different authority agencies para maging maayos lahat,” Barrios told FOX Sports on Thursday.
Barrios’ assurance came just a day after a deadly bombing rocked the busy airport of Istanbul that killed least 36 people and wounding an additional 147 people.
The soft-spoken SBP executive added that he even paid a courtesy visit to new PNP Chief Supt. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who assured Barrios that he will personally check on the security setup at the playing venue.
“Wala namang extra measure na kailangan because I’d like to think we have comprehensive plans for that,” he said.
“In fact, I also made a new courtesy call with PNP chief Bato Dela Rosa and that’s what I took up with him, not just to shake his hand but I was there for business and he said, don’t worry because he will take a first hand look at the security plan.”
The amiable SBP official said Gilas Pilipinas, along with the national teams from France, New Zealand, Turkey, Senegal and Canada will be billeted at Sofitel in Pasay City.
The top FIBA officials, along with the referees will be billeted at the Hyatt Hotel, City of Dreams, just a few minutes drive from the Mall of Asia Arena. – By Richard Dy
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