country, Philippines, Sports

The FIBA Asia Championship in Manila

The FIBA Asia Championship will be held in the Philippines for the first time in 40 years, and it will draw a 15-nation field.

For the first time in 40 years, the FIBA Asia Championship will be held in Manila. A majority of the matches will be held on the state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena, with Basketball TV as the primary broadcast partner and Sports5 as the secondary. The tournament will be held from August 1-11, with the first three days of the tournament dedicated for the group stage and the remaining eight days are for the knockout stages.

China is the defending champion in the 15-country tourney. Lebanon was stripped of participation from the tournament in the wake of tensions within the country and its basketball federation ; they were also stripped of hosting rights for the same reason. Other strong countries in the tournament are Iran, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea. Host Philippines will be a dark horse in the tournament, considering the lack of success the country has had in international competitions.

To give full support to the national team, the PBA elected to delay its season-ending Governors Cup to the second week of August. This will give practice and bonding time for the national team, while giving the league franchises time to strengthen their rosters. The UAAP and NCAA also elected to start their seasons earlier than usual, with a two-week break in order to give way to the FIBA Asia Championship.

All matches involving the Philippine team will be seen on VHF channel TV5. Select other matches will be seen on UHF channel AksyonTV. The entirety of the FIBA Asia Championship will be on cable channel Basketball TV.

The medal winners in the tournament are granted automatic qualification spots for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

To the participating nations in the tournament, best of luck to all.