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Philippines, China vie for FIBA World Cup hosting

FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--It's down to two!

Two Asian countries remain in the run for the right to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The FIBA Executive Committee announced on Tuesday the Philippines and China as the finalists for the hosting rights.

Should the Philippines get the nod, it will be the first time since 1978 that the country will host the tournament pitting the 32 best national basketball teams.

In January, officials of FIBA came to the country to inspect the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, the main site of the 1978 edition, the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, which hosted the FIBA Asia Championship in 2013, the new Philippine Arena in Bocaue, and the sites of two arenas that will open in time for the said tournament, the SM Cebu Arena and the Solaire Arena in ParaƱaque.

Secretary-General Patrick Baumann expressed approval of the Philippines' hosting capability.

FIBA will announce the host country of the FIBA World Cup in June.