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'Fan experience' led to FIBA WC arena switch says Al Panlilio

Accessibility mattered in the switch of the venue for the FIBA World Cup playoffs. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio cited fan experience as the main factor behind the FIBA central board's decision to move the knockout stages of the FIBA World Cup to the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

According to Panlilio, the decision was made as the MOA Arena is more easily accessible for basketball fans around the world.

“The priority that led to this decision is the experience of our fans. This is in service of the Filipino basketball fans, as well as those arriving from all over the world,” he said in a statement on Friday, moments after FIBA announced the arena swap.

The Philippine Arena in Bocaue, which was previously announced as the venue of the playoffs, will now host the tournament opening doubleheader on Aug. 25.

Panlilio thanked the arena management for respecting FIBA's decision.

“We thank our brothers and sisters from the Iglesia ni Cristo and the Philippine Arena management, specifically, for being a true partner in this endeavor and we appreciate their support of the final decision that was reached,” he further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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