The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas expressed gratitude to Philippine Sports Commission chairperson Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala for supporting the country’s hosting of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said Eala’s support is very valuable to the success of the World Cup, the world’s biggest basketball event that will be held at the Philippine Arena from 25 August to 10 September.
In a previous Daily Tribune report, the 59-year-old Eala made all government resources available for the country’s World Cup hosting.
In a meeting with Barrios and other ranking World Cup officials at the PSC main office last Wednesday, in fact, Eala vowed to create a PSC task force that will attend to the needs of the SBP in making the country’s hosting a success.
Also present during the 90-minute discussion that aimed to iron out the collaboration between the SBP and the government sports agency were World Cup local organizing committee member Jude Turcuato, SBP legal consultant Atty. Aga Francisco, operations chief John Lucas, and sports commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo.
Barrios confirmed the veracity of the Tribune source’s claim, saying that having the government at their side will make it easier for them to organize the prestigious 32-nation tournament.
“The PSC is the equivalent of the Ministry of Sports. Since this is a world class and the biggest tournament in basketball, it is only fitting that the biggest sports organization of the government is at the forefront of hosting,” Barrios said, who succeeded Eala as executive director of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission.
“It’s not just the SBP hosting it, the whole country will be involved as well. Both the public and private sectors will have to help out. We’re happy because chairman Noli is vocal about helping out in any way he can.”
“He said his office will be at our disposal.”
In a previous statement, Eala urged the basketball-crazy Filipinos to unite and rally behind the SBO and its national team — Gilas Pilipinas.
Barrios thanked Eala for the message of support, but tempered his expectations since the PSC board of commissioners has yet to fully function in addressing the needs of the national sports associations, including the SBP.
“No details yet regarding the task force as he has yet to identify the PSC staff who will work on it,” Barrios added.
“He said he can’t formally form it until he gets to know the three other members of the PSC board.”