#PUSO2019: The Philippines’ Worldwide Bid To Host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Goes Social

In support of the Philippines final push to host the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019, the Basketball Federation of the Philippines (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas or “SBP”) is sending a delegation to Tokyo, Japan for the August 7, 2015 final presentation to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

Following a closed meeting on completion of presentations from the Philippines and China, the two remaining bidding nations, FIBA will officially announce the host country for the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Cup.

The Philippine delegation will be headed PLDT Chairman and SBP President Manuel V. Pangilinan, eight division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and former Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team coach Chot Reyes. Coinciding with the delegation’s departure, the Federation reinforced its efforts in driving online support and awareness of its ‘passionate, innovative and gamechanging’ campaign to host the FIBA Basketball World Cup through the increasingly popular hashtag, #PUSO2019.

#PUSO2019 pages have been set up on both Facebook and Twitter, encouraging every Filipino to share their passion and make their voice count as the nation strives to host the FIBA Basketball World Cup. In underscoring the significance of the country’s efforts to host the FIBA Basketball World Cup, SBP President Pangilinan outlined the strength of the Philippines bid and the extraordinary passion that the country have for the sport.

“In the Philippines, basketball is life. It is part of our cultural fabric and the number one sport which people throughout our country follow devotedly every day. The opportunity to receive the honor of hosting the FIBA Basketball World Cup would provoke extraordinary national pride. And as the social media capital of the world, that’s something that would inevitably be felt and talked about worldwide,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan added that the FIBA World Cup is “a unique opportunity to capture the hearts and minds of future generations of basketball fans in the Philippines and in every corner of the world, to ignite their passion and share it through a common language.”

Throughout its preparation for a FIBA Basketball World Cup bid, the SBP has enjoyed the longstanding commitment of the Philippine National Government and a diverse and deep support from the private sector. When coupled with the strength of existing world-class facilities such as the Mall of Asia Arena and the Philippine Arena, the world’s largest indoor arena, and key infrastructure initiatives and venue developments, the Federation is confident it can deliver an international sporting event that is both memorable and shareable. “We already have a four-year plan in place to help create an incredible FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 for the Philippines and the world. We will have a united effort that combines both the public and private sector and will be supported by international event management consultants and major event specialists that will be retained to support our efforts,” Reyes added.

In the lead up to presentations in Tokyo later this week, there is a growing sense of confidence that the Philippines could overcome the Chinese bid. Commenting on the nation’s chances, Coach Chot pinpoints the high regard for the country not only by delegates within FIBA but also by the broader basketball community the world over.

The Philippines has a rich history in hosting major global sporting and social events. It first hosted the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 1978 and since then it has built a formidable reputation as a nation capable of planning and managing the complexity of significant public occasions. In addition to the FIBA Asia World Cup, which saw 150,000 fans enjoy 11 days of competition in Pasay City and Manila, 2013 saw the country host five major national sporting events. More recently, in 2014, the Philippines hosted the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships and welcomed 21 world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Manila. And earlier this year we hosted Pope Francis’s visit to the country – an event attended by more than 6 million people in a single day.

Both Pangilinan and Reyes expect the addition of world boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao to the Philippine delegation to be a key factor in winning the support and confidence of FIBA. “Manny’s passion for the sport is something he shares with every Filipino and, backed by an exceptional delegation of Government officials and business leaders, we welcome his contribution to our efforts in Tokyo. We are delighted that he will join us as we showcase the Philippines’ plans to help FIBA take basketball to new heights and the for the World Cup to transcend the sport as a worldwide media experience,” Pangilinan pointed out.

“As a world champion and now, a congressman, I always stand up for what I believe is right. And I believe our country hosting the FIBA World Cup is right not just for the Philippines, but right for the sport of basketball on a worldwide scale. That’s why I’m standing right behind our bid committee when it presents in Tokyo on Friday August 7. We are the one country that can give basketball the worldwide attention it deserves and can help take the sport to the next level,” Pacquiao declared. An avid basketball fan himself and currently the playing coach of the Kia Carnival team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Pacquiao is also a two-term congressman in the House of Representatives representing his home province of Sarangani. He is firm in his conviction that the Philippines is destined to host the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019.

“The country, from the fans to government to the broader business community, is fully behind our bid and hugely passionate about hosting a truly transformational FIBA Basketball World Cup. We believe our modern arenas, effective transportation and combination of committed government and private sector support can deliver an outstanding tournament with a truly worldwide audience” Pangilinan concluded.