PSC asks full support for World Cup hosting, Gilas

LEADING the courtesy visit of the SBP team were executive director Sonny Barrios (center). — PSC

NEWLY-appointed Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Noli Eala is fully supportive of the country’s hosting of the FIBA World Cup next year and also asked the basketball-crazy nation to rally behind our Gilas Pilipinas team competing in the biggest basketball event.

“I encourage everyone, not just the basketball-loving Filipinos, to support the country’s hosting of the World Cup, which gives so much pride for the Philippines being one of the hosts, and stay behind our very own Gilas Pilipinas team,” said Mr. Eala, who now leads the government’s sports agency, succeeding Butch Ramirez.

A former PBA Commissioner, who also served as Executive Director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) a few years ago, Mr. Eala was the project director of the original Smart Gilas Pilipinas in 2008. That Smart Gilas team was the precursor of the Gilas program now being handled by Chot Reyes.

As basketball is treated as a religion in the Philippines, Mr. Eala and the PSC are all out in supporting the World Cup that is expected not just to showcase our world-class hosting capabilities but will also provide an economic boost to the country that is still trying to get its feet up on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A basketball lover himself, Mr. Eala shared the same passion of the hoop-crazy nation to stand behind our Gilas Pilipinas in next year’s World Cup.

On Wednesday, officials from the SBP paid a courtesy call to the new chairman of the government’s sports agency. Joining Mr. Eala in welcoming the delegates from the SBP is PSC Commissioner and Philippine Sports Hall of Famer Bong Coo.

Leading the courtesy visit of the SBP team were executive director Sonny Barrios, who also serves as event director for the FIBA World Cup 2023, Erika Dy, deputy event director, Dickie Bachmann, division chief for operations, local organizing committee, Jude Turcuato, representing Smart Communications, which serves as the event’s global partner, Atty. Aga Francisco, SBP legal consultant and chairman of FIBA legal commission and John Lucas, head of operations, joint management committee, Philippines, FBWC 2023.