The bidding process went down the wire, as China edged past Philippines in the final presentation to bag the rights to host 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The Central Board of FIBA announced the decision on 5:30 PM local time.
The countdown began on Friday morning in Tokyo, Japan. Within Few hours FIBA was going to announce the host nation of its 2019 edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
It was a nail-biting finish between two of the final contenders, Republic Of Philippines and Republic Of China.
The FIBA flagship event will be featuring 32 countries in 2019.
The final round of the World Cup follows after a 18 month-long qualifying round scheduled from November 2017 to February 2019. This time the number of participating nations has been increased to 32, compared to 24 of the previous 2014 edition of the World Cup hosted by Spain.
Another significant change in this coming World Cup is the selection of the year. 2019 is preferred ahead of 2018 as no other major sporting event is scheduled in that year.
12 countries from Europe, 7 each from America and Asia including China or Philippines, 5 from Africa, aside the reigning champions United States Of America will qualify for the final round.
The Announcement Ceremony
The live streaming of the announcement ceremony was available in the FIBA’s YouTube channel, starting at 16:00 local/Tokyo time (GMT +9).
The two finalists presented their respective bids before the central board of FIBA announced its decision.
After a draw China was given the opportunity to bid first.
Both the contenders brought their sporting icons to feature in the bidding process. Chines delegation was led by former basketball star Yao Ming, meanwhile the Filipino delegation was starred by ace pugilist Manny Pacquiao and former basketball star Jimmy Alapag.
Yao Ming’s Presentation
“You can’t say that one type of love is better than the other. Both are great. Both countries have a great passion for basketball, particularly for FIBA basketball,” said 7-foot-6 Yao Ming, the China 2019 Ambassador.
Chinese presentation banked on successful hosting of mega-events such as Beijing Olympics and Guangzhou Asian Games.
The nation hailed its technological progress and cited eight cities prepared for staging yet another sports’ mega-show.
Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Foshan, Wuhan, and Donguan are the eight cities that will be host games.
Manny Pacquiao’s Speech
“I am a boxer but I am here because I love basketball so that tells you the passion that Filipinos have for basketball. If we host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, we can show that passion to the world,” said Pacquiao, Philippine Congressman and eight-time world boxing champion.
The Filipino presentation reflected the country’s passion for the game and sounded emotional in its bid to stage a mega-event of basketball for the first time.
“We want Fiba to experience the passion that runs deep in every Filipinos,” said former long-time Gilas Pilipinas captain Jimmy Alapag during the Fiba World Cup bid delegation sendoff at Lighthouse Monday. “I think it’s time to bring basketball home. We’re going up against a giant come Friday and I think we’ve proven that giants can be taken down.”
It also projected its free social media, something China lacks severely.