Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio expects Gilas to punch one’s ground-breaking stint in the international hoops with the upcoming 2023 Fiba World Cup to be jointly hosted by the Philippines.

/ 18 April 2021

SBP president Al Panlilio is hopeful for coming up with the best Gilas Pilipinas crew in exceeding what has been a winless campaign last 2019.

“From a team perspective, I think our objective is to always do better,” Panlilio said in the Radyo5’s Power and Play with Noli Eala on Saturday.

“We had one win in Seville, we didn’t do too well in China. So we want to go to the next round sana when we host in 2023,” he continued.

It was in the 1954 Fiba World Championship in Rio de Janeiro that the Philippine team saw legendary Carlos Loyzaga steer the country to a bronze medal finish which until now the Philippines has not been able to pull off such a stint.

Then, the Philippines managed to finish eighth place out of 13 nations in Chile in 1959, 13th out of 14 countries in Puerto Rico in 1974, and went winless through eight games despite automatically advancing to the eight-team round-robin semifinal when Manila last hosted the Fiba World Championship in 1978.

In 2014, Gilas managed to pull off a historic win over Senegal after five games, but in 2019 saw it to be disastrous as the country placed dead-last among 32 teams in China. 

Despite its tracks, SBP sees this time with a positive outlook in setting the bar high in surpassing history with the upcoming world cup in 2023. 

“Does that mean two to three wins? Then hopefully that’s the goal for us, to make it to the next stage. There’s development, there’s progress in our program. We’re ranked 31st today, hopefully we can break the 20s sa future. It’s progress every time,” Panlilio said. 

Aside from minding Gilas’ performance, Panlilio is looking forward that the conditions will get better once the games, to be jointly hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, kick off in 2023.

“We have been working on this since before World Cup in China finished. During this pandemic, a lot of virtual meetings happened. We’ve had board meetings with MVP and the other countries involved. Our objective is to host the best World Cup. We want to make sure everybody’s safe. Hopefully by that time, vaccines are already out and in excess and everybody’s safe, travel restrictions are lifted,” he averred.

“China hosted a very successful hosting, but a lot of it was because of the technology and all the venues. We wanted to push the technology in our own way, but we want it to be the best fan-based experience that we can,” he propounded.