June 11, 2023

‘Yung gastos mabigat!' SBP shares challenges in preparation for FIBA World Cup hosting

‘Yung gastos mabigat!
Philstar / Joey Mendoza

The 2023 FIBA World Cup is roughly three months away, which means the best basketball players in the planet are gearing up for a trip to the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The three nations will host the battle for the game’s crown jewel, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is doing its part to ensure everything is already in place in Manila come August.

But mounting a world-class event has its challenges. SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios explained how tough it is to prepare for the country’s hosting of the global hoops summit.

“The venue requirements of FIBA, infrastracturally, if I may call it that, ‘yun ang main challenges,” Barrios told Noli Eala on the sports show "Power and Play."

“Talagang iba ‘yung World Cup. ‘Yung nakasanayan natin na hosting requirements sa qualifiers, even ‘yung OQT [Olympic Qualifying Tournament], naku, ang layo po. Ang layo ng sa World Cup. Talagang ibang klase. So, ‘yung gastos mabigat,” the SBP official elaborated.

Aiding the group tasked to handle the Philippines’ hosting of basketball’s biggest tournament is the national government itself. A few days ago, President Bongbong Marcos signed an administrative order, which created an inter-agency task force in support of the SBP’s projects regarding the World Cup. Barrios gave an update on the ongoing partnership between the SBP and the government.

“The government subsidy that has been finally granted… is a big help. Malaking booster sa atin yun. The other one is administrative order from PBBM. Talagang alam mo naman sa gobyerno, importante rin po yun. ‘Yung dalawang yun, two big booster shots that we sorely need.”

The challenges of staging the FIBA’s flagship event are daunting. But with the government and the private sector extending a helping hand, the SBP looks well on its way to completing the task at hand.

“For the hosting, we’re about 90%... we’re about there. Mababa na ‘yung 85,” Barrios said.

The 2023 FIBA World Cup takes place from August 25 to September 10.