Malacañang said in a statement on Saturday that President Rodrigo Duterte supports the country’s bid to host the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup in 2023.
“President Duterte backs the FIBA World Cup to support the initiative of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan and SBP President Al Panlilio,” said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
The result of the bid submitted by SBP would be determined by the year’s end.
The Philippines teamed up with Japan and Indonesia for a joint bid to host the international basketball competition in 2023.
Abella said that the possible hosting “is very rare and it will unify the country and will have positive impact on basketball and tourism.”
Malacañang’s statement came a day after the release of photos of Duterte meeting with FIBA officials on Thursday.
Earlier, the Philippines also bid for the hosting rights of the 2019 FIBA World Cup, but lost to China.
According to the FIBA World Cup website, a record 32 teams from 32 countries will participate in the 2019 FIBA World Cup which will be held in eight cities in China — Beijing, Shanghai, Foshan, Nanjing, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou.