Chot likens PH Fiba World Cup hosting to Papal visit

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Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes proclaimed that basketball is considered as a religion in the Philippines, and when the country was chosen as one of the hosts for the 2023 Fiba World Cup he took it one step further.

“We’re very happy, we will have the world’s best basketball players, some of the world’s best athletes coming to Manila and we’re very excited,” said Reyes as per Fiba’s official website. “It’s like the Pope coming back to Manila.”

READ: MVP: Three-nation hosting of Fiba World Cup ‘spreads basketball fever’

Pope Francis visited the Philippines for five days back in January 2015.

“Like we always say, in the Philippines basketball is a religion and so there are a lot of believers, a lot of followers, and for the sport’s biggest competition to come to our country is really special for us.”

The Philippines will share the hosting duties with Indonesia and Japan with three Asian nations beating the joint bid of Argentina and Uruguay.

“I think the cooperation with Japan and Indonesia has been unbelievable, they’re as much a part of this as we are in the Philippines,” said Reyes. “A lot of preparation and effort went into the bid.”

 “Now the real work begins, we have to come together to make sure that we’re able to host and conduct a really great tournament.”

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