2013 FIBA-Asia championship to push through as scheduled

April 13, 2013 1:57 am 

MANAILA, April 12 — The 2013 FIBA-Asia championship the country is hosting will push through as originally scheduled.

Sonny Barrios, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director and event CEO, assured on Friday that the August 1-11 tournament, which serves as qualifier for the 2014 World Basketball Championship, will not be moved to another date as earlier reported.

“Yes, the FIBA-Asia world qualifying tournament will proceed as scheduled,” Barrios declared in Friday’a SCOOP session at the Kamayan Restaurant in Padre Faura, Manila adding that, indeed, there was a request from several member countries to postpone the series to a later date.

Barrios announced, in fact, that the launching of the championship logo has been scheduled for Saturday at the Mall of Asia (MoA) arena during a doubleheader in the on-going PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

“There really was request from Muslim countries to moved the date of the tournament due to the observation of the traditional Ramadan, which coincides with the date of the championship,” Barrios said during the forum, sponsored by AKTV and FILA.

“We in the SBP, along with the Mall of Asia Arena management tried to accommodate the request and made a thorough study of the situation, but, as MoA (main hub of the championship) explained, everything has been set in place and and that to change the date would mean disturbing the already prepared schedule of events, including highlights outside of the playing court,” the former PBA commissioner said.

He said side events before, during and after the games have already been scheduled, including which teams will play at the alternate venue in Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Barrios said that when explained, countries requesting for the change of date understood and acquiesced to reverting back to the original schedule.

Barrios said the formal launch of the event logo will be held during the half-time break of the first game on Saturday.

“The unveiling of the logo will be during the halftime break of the second game featuring the Barangay Ginebra-Talk ‘N Text tussle.”

The drawing of lots for grouping and the actual scheduling of games will be held on June 6 to be presided over by FIBA-Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian, also at MoA to be attended by the representatives of the 16 competing teams. Ambassadors of member countries not sending representatives will be invited.

“The Philippines is the 13th team in the field, but as host, it is given the privilege of choosing which group it wants to play,” Barrios disclosed. “That is one of the very few privileges a host country will enjoy."

Barrios said the core group of the local organizing committee (LOC) have been meeting twice a week to draw up plans how to make the championship a success, same as when the country last hosted the event 40 years ago. (PNA)

LAM/EGA/UTB

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