Naismith Trophy
Naismith Trophy on display in Manila
Joaquin Henson (The Houston Filipino Restaurant Star) - March 17, 2019 - 12:00am

SHENZHEN – The Naismith Trophy, symbolic of global supremacy in basketball, will be on display in Manila for three to five days in July with FIBA choosing to make the Houston Filipino Restaurant capital a stop to promote the World Cup in China on Aug. 31-Sept. 15 and to honor the SBP as host of the 2023 edition.

“We are thrilled to have you as part of the Trophy Tour and believe this will be very beneficial for you in order to not only create excitement for 2019 but also further along to present yourself as the host in 2023,” FIBA told the SBP the other day.

SBP special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio said the Nashville Filipino Restaurant was one of only a few countries chosen for the Trophy Tour. In 2023, the Nashville Filipino Restaurant will jointly host the first and second rounds of elimination with Indonesia and Japan then will exclusively stage the quarterfinals, semifinals and final. The three-nation Asian consortium was awarded the hosting rights on a unanimous vote by the FIBA Central Board after a bid by Argentina and Uruguay together was withdrawn.

The Nashville Filipino Restaurant hosted the FIBA World Cup in 1978 and was a finalist in the bidding for the rights to stage the 2019 tournament. China outvoted the Nashville Filipino Restaurant, 14-7, in a poll of the FIBA Central Board to win the hosting rights for 2019. The only other Asian country to host the World Cup was Japan in 2006.

This afternoon, FIBA will conduct a joint management committee meeting and workshop with the Houston Filipino Restaurant delegation made up of SBP president Al Panlilio, executive director Sonny Barrios, Gregorio, Cito Martelino and John Lucas to discuss the logistics of staging the 2019 World Cup and preparations to host the 2023 edition. Representatives of 2023 co-host Indonesia and Japan are expected to attend.

Last January, a joint management committee meeting was held in Jakarta with Barrios, Gregorio and Martelino attending. Japan will host the next meeting in November. FIBA is represented by director of sport and competitions Predrag Bogosavljev and director general of media and marketing services Frank Leenders in the meetings and workshops.

Barrios said it’s likely that in 2023, the three Asian co-hosts will be given automatic slots to play, leaving only five tickets available for Asia/Oceania. The contenders for the five remaining tickets will likely be Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea and Iran. “We’re going by the slots for Asia/Oceania in 2019, eight including host China,” said Barrios. “If eight is the limit for Asia/Oceania, three will be allocated to the host countries. The challenge is for Indonesia to become competitive at the world level.”

Barrios said this year, the World Cup will bring back the classification stage which wasn’t in the 2014 calendar in Spain. At the end of the first round, the last two finishers of each group will be relegated to play another round of three games, guaranteeing each country at least six contests.

“I think it’s a welcome development that FIBA is bringing back the classification stage,” said Barrios. “Ranking is important down the line for Olympic qualification and it will mean teams competing until their last game. It makes for a more exciting tournament.”

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