Monday, February 4, 2013

Win the FIBA Asia championship

By Eddie G. Alinea
MANILA, Jan. 28 (PNA) -- "Get the best of the best and win the FIBA Asia championship."

This was the message FIBA Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian delivered to Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas in regard to the Philippines' hosting of the regional men's basketball championship for the first time in 40 years on Aug 1-11.

"It (FIBA Asia hosting) doesn't come every year," Khaihiran said when he met the press at the MOA (Mall of Asia) Arena's corporate suites lounge.

"The Philippines playing in the semifinals … why not? Champion in FIBA Asia .. why not?

The high-ranking FIBA Asia executive cautioned his audience though, which included SBP executive director Renauld and consultant Mauricio Martelino:

"But it will come as a result of hard work and not by luck. There is no luck in winning the championship."

Khajirian predicterd the host country could only end up fifth in the coming tournament behind defending champion China, South Korea, FIBA Asia Cup reigning titlist Iran and Lebanon.

The top three teams after the Manila series will advance to the 2014 World Championship in Spain.

Khajirian based his analysis on the results of the previous staging of the biennial meet the past decade when the Chinese and the Iranians usually wind up disputing the pennant.

The Philippines, he recalled, made it to the quarterfinal round twice in 2007 in Tokoshima, Japan and 2009 in Tianjin, China.

The Filipinos made the semifinal round the last time around in 2011 in Wuhan, also in China.

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