MANILA – The preparation of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 (FBWC 2023) is now shifting to a higher gear as the federation received a total commitment from basketball stakeholders in the country.

The Philippines is set to host the FBWC 2023 along with Japan and Indonesia from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, 2023.

In an SBP board meeting led by chairman, Senator Sonny Angara, on Monday, president Al Panlilio presented the plans for the staging of the event to the different board members from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and other major basketball organizations.

“Showcasing the Philippines, this will be the biggest basketball event to be hosted in the country. Since 1978, we have not hosted a tournament of this magnitude,” Panlilio said in a news release on Tuesday.

The SBP formed a local organizing committee composed of industry stalwarts and experts to prepare for the competition. There will be 40 games in the qualifiers at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum and SM Mall of Asia Area, and 12 games for the final phase at the Philippine Arena.

Among the slated activities are One Year To Go and Tissot Countdown Clock Launch on Aug. 27, 2022, the FBWC 2023 Draw event in April 2023, the Official Ball Launch, the Opening Ceremonies, and the Competition proper until Sept. 10, 2023.

Apart from the hosting plans, the SBP president also shared the unified Philippine basketball commitment to put together the best team for the FBWC 2023.

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes presented to the SBP board his roadmap in building the men’s basketball team. Reyes identified the best players from the PBA, UAAP, NCAA, and different international professional leagues with the aim of performing in the World Cup Asian Qualifiers, reclaiming the gold in the Southeast Asian Games, and competing against the world’s best in the FBWC 2023.

As for the PBA, Asia’s pioneering professional league is also going all out in supporting the SBP and Gilas Pilipinas. The PBA will only stage two conferences next season to give way for Gilas Pilipinas’ preparation for the World Cup so that the team will be able to train for three months to build chemistry and familiarity.

The UAAP and NCAA have also committed to make sure that players selected from their leagues will be able to join the national team for the same period.

To further strengthen the program, SBP added Tim Cone, head coach of Barangay Ginebra and the winningest coach in PBA history with 24 championships, and UAAP champion coach Goldwyn Monteverde of the UP Fighting Maroons as assistant coaches. With Reyes at the helm, two other veteran international coaches, Nenad Vucinic and Jong Uichico, complete a solid coaching team.

The SBP has its eyes on the prize that is the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 as it targets not just a great showing for Gilas Pilipinas Men but an unforgettable hosting of the event as well.

“We only have 389 days from the actual tip-off and I do appeal to all the stakeholders in basketball to come together and really unify in this effort,” Panlilio said. (PR)