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2023 FIBA World Cup hosting preparation gets under way despite pandemic

by Reynald Magallon, May 20, 2020 12:23pm

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio bared that the federation has already started its preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which the country will be co-hosting with Japan and Indonesia, despite that pandemic that the country is currently facing.

In an interview with Radyo Singko's power and play program, Panlilio bared that the SBP has been in constant communication with their Japanese and the Indonesian counterparts since the FIBA released the calendar of events for the 2023 World Cup last week.

"We’ve started some meetings over video cons," shared Panlilio while adding that the hosts, together with the FIBA appointed executive director for the world David Crocker have already met five times online as part of the initial preparations.

"Our next task within the month is to go through a presentation of the logos, themes and mascots. In any event, those are the first activity. We did some survey pre-COVID and the FIBA has shortlisted two already and this month, with the three countries and FIBA, we will decide on this," Panlilio added.

It will be the first time that the world meet will be staged in three different countries. The 2023 World Cup is set to happen from August 25 to September 10. Japan and Indonesia will be hosting the group stages while the Philippines will be hosting one of the group stage and the knockout stages.

In Manila, group stage games will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while the knockout games will be hosted at the 55,000 seater Philippine Arena.

"After the group play, all eight teams (quarterfinalists) will come to the Philippines for the playoffs, Panlilio said.

However, threats of the current COVID-19 pandemic still hinders such events in grandeur scales. The supposed 2020 Tokyo Olympics was put on hold as well as major leagues, qualifiers and tournaments were suspended due to the virus.

The SBP, though, remains optimistic that the pandemic will end even before the staging of the 2023 World Cup.

"Hopefully by 2023, meron ng vaccine so maayos an. Ako nga ang projection ko, that (2023 World Cup) may be the first major tournament in basketball of that scale that will happen COVID-free and back to normal, where you’ll have 15,  20, or 25,000 (fans) in the venue,” he added.

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