14-7 | China gets more nods in FIBA Central Board votes

Yao Ming gives high-fives to the Chinese delegation after winning the FIBA World
Cup hosting right. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

TOKYO--When FIBA announced moments before 6:30 p.m. Japanese Time (5:30 p.m. Philippine Time) that the announcement will be delayed by 30 minutes, many thought the Central Board voting for the hosting right to the FIBA World Cup was a close one.

When the clock neared 7 p.m. Japanese Time (6 p.m. Philippine Time), FIBA announced another 15-minute delay, further speculating that the decision may have gone to the final vote.

It turned out, however, it may not be the case.

FIBA revealed on its website moments after announcing China's win over the Philippines for the World Cup hosting right on Friday night that it was a sort of a domination.

Fourteen members of the Central Board gave the Chinese bid a nod, while seven voted for the Philippines.

FIBA president Horacio Muratore, however, admitted, that both delegations gave their best to land the hosting right.

Muratore said, “This was a very difficult decision because we had two national federations who did excellent work. However, there can only be one host country for our event in 2019 and it will be China. We would like to congratulate both national federations for their outstanding work and bids. This is what we wanted: to have national federations put together top quality bids to host our flagship event."

Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming also agreed that the "Puso 2019" campaign by the Philippines was a tremendous bid.

The former Houston Rockets star said, “We have to pay tribute to the Philippines delegation. They were great opponents. Only opponents like them could really push us to our limits to test how capable we are."

But while both countries are in another ongoing battle, the dispute of the Spratly Islands, Yao hopes that their friendship will continue.

"Even if we were opponents on this occasion, we still have a friendship with them," He continued.