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    SBP: 2023 FIBA World Cup Preparation Right On Track

    The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup are gaining traction after it has opened a dialogue with FIBA and co-hosts Japan and Indonesia.

    SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said on the webcast of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday that David Crocker, FIBA's event director for the World Cup, has been in constant communication with the local organizing committee and discussions have been "vibrant" during the lockdown.

    "We already have meetings with Japan and Indonesia upon encouragement by Boss MVP [Manny V. Pangilinan], because he said we should not just contact Japan and Indonesia only when FIBA wants a video call," said Barrios. "We should do it on our own initiative, talk as partners and exchange notes."

    Barring any unforeseen events, the logo and branding of basketball's biggest international meet will be revealed in September, while the draw ceremony will be tentatively held later this year.

    "Everything is so fluid because of this COVID pandemic, unfortunately for all of us. Nothing is cast in stone this early," said Barrios.

    Aside from the logo, financial models including tax implications, marketing and sales between the three countries are already being discussed. Government support, most especially from the Dept. of Tourism (DOT) will also be crucial, said Barrios.

    "When we bid for the 2019 World Cup, we got a pledge of P900 million from the government, P400 million from the budget of the DOT. Let's see this time if we will get anything from the government because we very much know that they have other priorities."

    Plans for 3x3 basketball

    The national 3x3 team is hoping to secure a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Games by participating in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Austria in May.

    But the SBP said the pool of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, Karl Dehesa, Chris Dechavez, Jaypee Belencion, Dylan Ababou, Ryan Monteclaro, CJ Perez, and Mo Tautuaa will have to wait a bit longer before they resume training.

    'We have a steering committee for the 3x3 and the last conversation we had with the 3x3 group is to have more firm plans. Right now, although we're still waiting for the details of the IATF guidelines, we just recently advised our national teams to exercise caution...and to follow protocols to the strictest level," said SBP director of operations Butch Antonio.

    "We will be making our plans for the 3x3 OQT because we cannot turn an eye."

    Furthermore, Vietnam is set to host the 31st Southeast Asian Games, where the Filipinos are set to defend the 5x5 and 3x3 titles in both the men's and women's divisions.

    "Of course, we are defending champions in the SEA Games. We're going to participate. If [esports] will be held, we will also join," said Antonio.
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