The Philippines’ bid to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup fell short as China was officially named the host of basketball’s biggest international tournament after both countries made their final presentations to the FIBA Central Board on Friday in Tokyo, Japan.
The Philippine delegation pulled out all the stops but was just up against a formidable foe in China, a known giant in hosting sporting events.
Even the countries’ respective delegations were reminiscent of “David and Goliath,” with the Philippines’ boxing champion Manny Pacquiao standing next to China’s “giant” basketball legend Yao Ming.
The Philippine delegation focused on the Filipinos’ passion for basketball as well as the country’s reputation as the social media capital of the world.
But when it came to infrastructure, China won the FIBA voters’ nod hands down as it laid out its already existing world-class venues as well as trains connecting the no less than eight cities that will host the games.
The Philippine delegation spoke briefly about MRT, Metro Manila’s Light Railway System that’s been plagued with long lines, accidents, train breakdowns and mismanagement.
Right there and then, the FIBA voters picked China.