The Philippines can hold its head up high even after it lost the bid to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Malacañang said on Saturday.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the Philppine delegation did its best to present the country as a “worthy” host before the FIBA board in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday.
“Wala po tayong dapat ikahiya dahil alam din naman po ng mga bansa sa daigdig na mayroon tayong sapat na kakayahan [We shouldn’t be ashamed because the country and the world know that we are capable],” Coloma told government-DZRB radio.
“Nakita na rin nila ‘yan ‘nung tayo ay nag-host na rin ng isang seksyon ng FIBA tournament noong nakaraan, at nakita naman po nila na mayroon tayong sapat na kakayahan hinggil diyan [They have seen what we can do when we hosted one section of the FIBA tournament and it proved that we are capable],” he added.
Coloma said that the government continues to work on turning the Philippines into a preferred destination for investors and tourists, and venue for international events.
He said the government is pursuing various infrastructure projects, some under the Public-Private Partnership program, all over the country.
While the Philippine delegation, led by business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, Hollywood actor Lou Diamond Phillips, basketball star Jimmy Alapag, and former national team coach Chot Reyes, gave an emotional pitch about the Filipino passion for basketball and the power of fans and social media, it could not compete with China’s presentation on the available infrastructure to be used for the event.
Instead, the Philippines’ presentation focused on future plans, including highways that would be completed before 2019.
While China already has eight cities slated to host the world cup, the Philippines only has three venues, with the fourth one to be constructed in Cebu.
Other personalities present at the final pitch were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Senator Sonny Angara, and boxing icon and Congressman Manny Pacquiao.