- The FIBA flag has arrived in the country after it was turned over to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas
- It was handed over to the country during a ceremony on the closing day of 2019 FIBA World Cup in China
- It will be the Philippines’ second time to host the World Cup
It’s official! The FIBA flag has arrived in the Philippines; making the country’s hosting of the 2023 World Cup official.
Reports disclosed that the FIBA flag was finally brought to the country by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas after Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan received the flag during a turnover ceremony held on the closing day of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Beijing, China last September 15.
Basketball legend Yao Ming, who is also the chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association, handed over the flag to Pangilinan along with representatives from Indonesia and Japan. The three countries, according to a report, will co-host the 2023 edition of the World Cup.
“We all felt really proud for the Philippines being named host for the next world cup. We also have to coordinate with Indonesia and Japan with regards to their hosting too so that we have a common theme, a common mascot, common slogan and common programs,” Pangilinan said.
According to a GMA News report, 16 teams will play in the Philippines while Japan and Indonesia will host eight teams each during the preliminaries.
Meanwhile, Pangilanan admitted that with the Philippines being the host, which automatically qualifies the country in the 2023 World Cup, “there’s more pressure on us to perform simply because we’re playing physically before our countrymen.”
Earlier, Pangilinan said the SBP has already started planning and preparing for 2023; noting that “we need to supply to spectators and guests an experience like never before, and demonstrate Filipino hospitality. Much pressure on our Gilas Team though – which is good. Ergo, let’s do better. Puso! #LabanPilipinas!”
To date, the 2023 World Cup will be the country’s second time to host the world event. It first hosted the World Cup in 1978, where the Philippine squad automatically advanced in the semifinal round.
By 2023, it would be the third straight World Cup appearance of the Philippines since 2014, which then ended a 36-year absence at the world basketball arena.