After 39 years, baskeball is finally returning home.
The Philippines had won the rights to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup on Saturday night in the final bid presenatation and voting of the Central Board in Geneva, Switzerland.
Alongside joint-bidders Japajn and Indonesia, the Asian consortium edged out South American multi-nation bid of Argentina and Uruguay for a second consecutive Asian host for the world’s biggest basketball event.
China will also stage the World Cup in 2019.
It was the second try of the Philippine representative, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas led by no less than Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan. But this time, their efforts finally paid off especially after losing to China back in 2015 for the said 2019 hosting rights.
With the win, Philippines, Japan and Indonesia are already qualified for the 2023 FIBA World Cup which will aslo serve as a qualifier to the 2024 Olympics to be held in Paris, France.
Manila, Okinawa and Japan will serve as the city venues of the World Cup.
The group phase of 16 teams will be played in Jakarta and Okinawa while the other 16 teams will be hosted by Manila. The quarters, semis and final will also be staged in Manila.
Serving as venues in the Philippines are the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City and the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The Philippines had its first World Cup hosting in 1978, Japan in 2006.
Meanwhile, Indonesia will be having its first stage staging the world’s prestigious basketball cup.