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Pangilinan on FIBA WC bid: "We put up a very good one"

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Manny Pangilinan is very bullish about the chance of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan to co-host the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

"We put in a very good bid," Pangilinan, SBP's president emeritus, told some sportswriters on Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, one of the five arenas tipped as venues for the 2023 FIBA World Cup if the Asian bid beats the South American consortium of Argentina and Uruguay. "I'm optimistic. We're keeping our fingers crossed."

"The Big Dome" is not new to hosting the FIBA World Cup as it previously hosted the 1978 games.

Should the Asian bid prevail, Pangilinan sees it as a great Christmas gift for the Filipinos.

"If there's any legacy I would like to leave to the sport of basketball, it's that the Philippines, after so many years, will get the center of the world in the sport of basketball," Pangilinan continued. "The Filipinos deserve it. Let's show the world the Philippine brand of basketball."

With the Philippines being the lead nation, majority of the games will be played in the said country with the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay and the Philippine Arena in Bocaue being the other venues.

On the other hand, the Japan leg will be played in Okinawa, while the Indonesia leg will be held in Jakarta.

Both cities are expected to get major improvements in their sports infrastructures as Indonesia will host the 2018 Asian Games and Japan will host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The announcement of the 2023 FIBA World Cup co-hosts will be made on Dec. 9.