Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Philippines (along with Indonesia and Japan) get to host the FIBA World Cup

The World is the Stage
by rick olivares

You must be positively giddy about the news….

The Philippines – along with Indonesia and Japan – will be hosting the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The bid, crafted after more than four months of planning, endless discussions and the wracking of one’s brains, has been given the nod. Thus, FIBA has spoken.

Thus, we rejoice.

After the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas lost the bid for the 2019 edition, the federation stayed in the game, undaunted, and came away winners for their perseverance and passion for the game.

This plan was certainly a lot more sound that saying welcome to the social media capital of the world.

Breaking attendance records. Check.
Spreading the gospel of hoops in football country (of Southeast Asia). Check.
Bringing three disparate cultures together. Check.

There are a couple of ways to look at this massive achievement by the SBP and its partner federations.

From a basketball fan’s standpoint, more than the three host nations securing automatic slots to the World Cup, this means we will get to see the national squads of the United States, Spain, Argentina, and other world powers up close. The world’s top teams are stocked and loaded with NBA stars so this massive. We get to see the galaxy of stars.

The Greek Freak flying through the air with the greatest of ease? Who wants to see him posterize some unlucky fool?

Karl-Anthony Towns, CJ McCollum, Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Ricky Rubio, Anthony Davis… need we say more?

This is way better than getting a meaningless NBA pre-season game. This is for the big marbles. The US might not use the tag “Dream Team” any more and rightly so but even so. This is a dream for basketball-mad Filipinos.

From a nationalist’s standpoint, the hosting of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships and the 2015 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. As the Beatles once sang, “It’s getting better all the time.”

Now the FIBA World Cup. These are the first steps to bigger things to come. The Olympics is a different one but why can’t we dream? After all, did you ever think we’d get to host these events?

The country has increasingly become a sports tourism destination along with the efforts fort triathlon and football. This is good; way good and boy, is that still an understatement.

We must laud the efforts of the SBP. Clearly the most progressive and forward thinking of all the national sports federations. It takes vision and an iron-clad will to get these things done. You can say it is easier because that’s basketball and it gets all the funding and whatnot. Well, I didn’t see the previous leaders of the sport get anything done remotely with what the current hoops leaders have done.

They helped put us on the map. Correct that, the world’s stage and I like so many other Filipinos will have a front row seat.

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