MANILA — The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Central Board will vote between two finalists to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup, in Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday morning (8 p.m., Manila time).
The finalists are the Philippine-led consortium with Japan and Indonesia and the two-country bid of Argentina and Uruguay.
According to a press statement released by the Samahang Basketbol sa Pilipinas (SBP) Friday, the finalists will make their final pitch before the FIBA Central Board with the consortium scheduled to deliver its remarks at 10:30 a.m. The other bidder will be called in next for its 20-minute presentation. The Central Board will then take a break and by 1 p.m. (8 p.m., Manila time), the decision will be announced.
Speakers from the three countries will be led by SBP Chairman Emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan. After a 10-minute question-and-answer portion, Pangilinan will return to the stage for his final remarks.
Argentina and Uruguay will make their presentation before noontime. No live streaming will be available.
Presentations may be made in English or Spanish, with FIBA providing simultaneous translations.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said the consortium’s bid has three central principles — simplicity, diversity and intensity.
“The bid from the consortium offers FIBA an exciting opportunity to bring the sport’s pinnacle event to the fastest growing region in the world where our combined population of over 500 million is ready to embrace the sport of basketball, where we will work with FIBA to realize the sport’s vision to make basketball the most popular sports community — to have more people playing in more places, more often,” he said.
Pangilinan, on the other hand, said he’s not interested in bidding for the 2027 edition, thus this is make or break.
“Here’s praying our country gets it,” he said. “It’s the single priceless legacy I could leave Philippine basketball.”
Pangilinan, Japan’s Yuko Mitsuya and Indonesia’s Erick Thohir are members of the FIBA Central Board headed by Argentina’s Horacio Muratore. Members from candidate countries will not take part in the voting.
The Philippines plans to hold the games at the historic Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City; Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City; and the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. Japan will have Okinawa as venue while the other games are in Indonesia.
Argentina hosted the inaugural FIBA World Cup in 1950 and hosted it again in 1990. The tournament was also held in Uruguay (1967), Philippines (1978) and Japan (2006).