The basketball-crazy nation, the Philippines lost out against China in the highly anticipated bidding pitch, which determined who will host the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Philippines used the emotions and passion of Filipinos to host the game but China was able to convince the FIBA Central Board that infrastructure and experience a worldwide event is more important than passion.
According to Coach Chot Reyes, one of the leader in the Philippine delegation, losing against China on their final pitch seems like losing in a double overtime game in basketball.
The Philippine delegation was composed of top government officials, lawmakers, businessmen, sportsmen and Hollywood celebrity Lou Diamond Phillips who made an emotional appeal to FIBA for the Philippines to given the rights to host the event.
Right after the deliberation, FIBA President Horacio Muratore announced that “The host of the 2019 FIBA World Cup is …. China.” The FIBA President pulled out what looked like a placard with the name China from a huge envelope at the end of the FIBA Central Board meeting that lasted more than two hours.
China presented its final bid by hitting the Philippines where it is weakest—in infrastructure, economy and the experience in hosting events of such magnitude, while the Philippines relied mostly on emotions.
During the presentation of the Philippines final pitches, Lou Diamond Phillips was quoted as saying “[Basketball passion] is something you can’t manufacture, it’s authentic, it’s very real and it’s like nowhere else,” said Philips.
The Philippine delegation almost succeeded in swaying the Central Board with the announcement taking a longer time in coming. According to some sources, the decision was delayed twice, giving the impression that the Central Board had deliberated long and hard before its members agreed unanimously in choosing the eventual winner.