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11-18-2008, 01:14 PM
SBP willing to build dome for Fiba Asia
By Abac Cordero Updated November 18, 2008 12:00 AM
Philstar.com



The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is dead serious in its bid to host the 2011 FIBA Asia Men’s Championship and is in fact willing to build a new coliseum to hold the games.

Manny V. Pangilinan, SBP president and chairman of PLDT-Smart, said they have manifested their bid to host the event to the International Basketball Federation or FIBA twice.

The SBP presented its bid during a meeting with FIBA president Bob Elphinston and secretary-general Patrick Baumann in Geneva last week.

And to help them in their bid, the SBP, this early, is planning to build a brand new coliseum.

“We need a national basketball center for training and staging of international competitions. We need a new venue for this kinds of competitions,” said Pangilinan.

The SBP board held a three-hour meeting yesterday at the PLDT office in Makati.

He said while there’s the Araneta Coliseum, the SBP really doesn’t have full control of it because the venue that can house a little over 20,000 fans is also being used for different events.

“Now we have to start planning because we only have two to three years before the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship. We’re already looking at alternative sites,” he said.

Pangilinan said Quezon City under Mayor Sonny Belmonte has already mentioned the availability of a site somewhere in North Triangle or near the Trinoma Mall.

“It has to be somewhere accessible to the public. Nothing is fixed yet as to the venue. It needs the cooperation of the national government,” he added.

The project, a very expensive one, will need the cooperation of the Philippine Basketball Association which has long been planning and dreaming of having its own venue, too.

“We will coordinate with the PBA,” said Pangilinan, adding that everything would be expedited once the Philippines is awarded the right to host the event.

Asked how much it would need to build the new venue, Pangilinan answered, “A lot.”

Ricky Vargas, vice president for PLDT and former PBA chairman, said “just to build the coliseum already means a lot of money, and hosting the event will be another one.”

“But I’ve been dreaming about this since I became PBA chairman. Now it might happen,” he said.