Philippines is new host of 2013 FIBA Asia Championship

In the end, we got what should have been ours in the first place.

Citing mounting security issues in the Middle East, the FIBA Asia Executive Committee stripped Lebanon of its right to host the 27th FIBA Asia Championship and named the Philippines as the new host of the prestigious basketball joust which will determine Asia’s three representatives to the 2014 FIBA World Championship.

An article posted on the FIBA Asia website quoted FIBA Asia Secretary General Hagop Khajirian as saying the following:

"Unfortunately, the current situation in the region and the on-going civil war in Syria, which has its indirect effect on the countries in the whole of West Asia, especially on Lebanon, creates doubts about the stability that we might not have, at least, till the fixed dates of our event.

"In view of these facts, FIBA Asia Executive Committee decided to change the venue of the 27th FIBA Asia Championship from Beirut-Lebanon to Manila-Philippines."

The decision comes after Lebanon was awarded the hosting rights last September, even though the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas gave what many felt was a topnotch presentation to the FIBA Asia Executive Committee.

RELATED: PH loses FIBA Asia bid to Lebanon

One stipulation of the awarding of the rights to Lebanon was that the Philippines would be the new host should the Middle Eastern country fail to satisfy the Asian basketball body in its preparations. This is exactly what happened, and as early as October there was already some concern about Lebanon’s ability to host the tournament after the FIBA Asia Champions Cup championship game which was to be held in Beirut, had to be postponed due to the peace and order situation in the Lebanese capital.

RELATED: Basketball battlezone

But even though Manila is now the new host, the date of the tournament remains the same: August 1-11, which still puts the Philippine national team – which will be represented by PBA players -  in a tight situation since the 2013 PBA season may end as late as July 27.

National team coach Chot Reyes tweeted his elation all the way from Dubai, where Smart Gilas II will be competing in the tough Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

The Philippines last hosted the FIBA Asia Championship (then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship) 40 years ago, when a team led by Robert Jaworski, Mon Fernandez, Bogs Adornado and Francis Arnaiz beat South Korea for the title before an overflow crowd at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Two years ago, Smart Gilas I, coached by Rajko Toroman and starring amateur standouts JVee Casio, Chris Tiu, Marcio Lassiter and Mac Baracael, naturalized player Marcus Douthit, and PBA veterans Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, and Asi Taulava, finished fourth behind Korea, Jordan and China, the country's highest finish since 1987.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios was quoted by FIBA Asia on his reaction to the turn of events:

“We are honored to host this prestigious event. We thank FIBA Asia, in particular Secretary General Hagop Khajirian, for giving us this privilege, which will give great happiness and enjoyment to the millions of Filipino basketball fans.”


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • 'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait
    'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait

    Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday. A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported. "Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the paper said, …

  • Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon
    Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon

    By Matt Siegel CANBERRA (Reuters) - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cannot go on forever, Australia's deputy prime minister said, and discussions are already under way between Australia, China and Malaysia as to whether to call off the hunt within weeks. No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 aircraft, which disappeared a year ago this week carrying 239 passengers and crew, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. The search of a rugged …

  • Bong wants to see son in hospital
    Bong wants to see son in hospital

    Detained Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. will ask the Sandiganbayan to allow him to visit his son, Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla, confined at the intensive care unit of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa for a gunshot wound in the chest. Lawyer Raymond Fortun, spokesman for the Revilla family, said the senator would ask for a 24- to 48-hour furlough. Sen. Revilla’s legal counsel Ramon Esguerra said doctors removed a half liter of blood. Fortun said he was able to talk to Jolo …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options