- The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) looks at the hosting of the ongoing seventh SEABA Women’s Championship as possibly a prelude to two major men’s competitions it aims to bring to the Philippines next year, including the qualifier to the 2012 Olympics.
SBP executive director Noli Eala said the country has submitted its bid to host the Fiba Asia Champions Cup in May and the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship in August.
“As what SBP president Manny Pangilinan said, this SEABA Women’s championship is hopefully a prelude to bigger international basketball tournaments we intend to host next year,” said Eala, adding that the SBP enjoys the support of Fiba Asia technical committee head Col. Lee Kak Kuan, who is in the country for the SEABA caging.
“This (SEABA tilt) may be smaller compared to the Fiba Asia Champions Cup and the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship
but definitely, we’ll be doubling our efforts and prepare well when those bigger tournaments come,” he said.
The Champions Cup was supposed to be hosted by Lebanon but according to Eala, Fiba Asia withdrew its hosting rights following “unfavorable feedback” on the Stankovic Cup held in the Middle East nation recently. Also seriously bidding are China and Korea.
“We’ll vigorously pursue our bid. Hopefully, we can get both (tournaments) or just one of them. Our main target is actually the Men’s Championship which is an Olympic qualifier. Only one Olympic slot will be at stake so we want it to be held in Manila, where we’ll have the luxury of a ‘favorable playing condition’ and crowd,” Eala said.