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Women's World Cup's huge success a source of pride for FIBA President Muratore and FEB President Garbajosa
TENERIFE (FIBA Women's Basketball Cup 2018) - Hours before the Final of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 on Sunday, FIBA President Horacio Muratore and Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) President Jorge Garbajosa held a press conference at Santiago Martin Arena to give their assessment of the basketball's biggest women's competition with the world media.
The pair were accompanied by FEB Executive Vice-President and Women's World Cup Event Director Jose Montero and by FIBA Executive Committee member Lena Wallin-Kantzy.
Mr Muratore said: "It's been an extraordinary competition. I'm very happy. We have looked forward at how we can make the development of women's basketball greater. We knew this tournament here in Spain was a good solution for that. Spain is one of the countries that has grown the most in women's sports and which develops the program 'Universo Mujer' (Women's Universe), which many companies have made use of. This Women's World Cup has been incredible, with a huge following on TV and across social media networks. We knew the organizational capacity of the Spanish Committee, and personally I feel at home, as always in Spain.
"This tournament is the prelude to a new era for women's basketball, one which will see the implementation of the FIBA Women's National Team Competition System, with 54 national teams from around the world playing regular official games during windows to qualify for the FIBA Women's World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament. This will give us more exposure."
Mr Garbajosa said: "FEB is tremendously proud of this competition at the organizational level and we must thank FIBA for their confidence in us. Both federations are the best possible partners for the organization of an event of such a high level. Our thanks also also go out to the institutions and municipalities in Tenerife that we have collaborated with. Hosting this World Cup has placed the island of Tenerife at the highest level of ability to organize more sporting events."
"We are both proud and satisfied. We have seen the pavilions full but above all we have had the feeling of living the games passionately and not only those of Spain. This represents a definitive push for women's basketball in the world. We will be honored to receive the visit of Spain's Queen Letizia for the Final."
Mr Montero said: "We must thank the Canary Government, the Cabildo de Tenerife and the four municipalities involved. However, the most important thing is that we have developed a legacy program that will continue until February 2019 and which is very focused on young people, with more of 50 activities - the same amount as in 2014 (after the FIBA Basketball World Cup). Our commitment and goal were to treat the Women's World Cup on the same level as the Men's one and I think we have achieved it."
Mrs Wallin-Kantzy said: "I was struck by the friendliness and positiveness of the people living on this island and helping with the tournament. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. This is the friendliest place I've been to. I would like to say that you should all be very proud of what you’ve done here. Spain is a very big basketball country and FEB a very big basketball federation and both are working very hard at growing our game. We are grateful to FEB President Jorge Garbajosa, FEB Vice-President and Event Director Jose Montero. But we obviously know there are a lot more people working hard with them.
"For a very long time, they have worked to do for the women's game what they've been able to do for the men's and I hope that many more national federations can look to do the same, in growing basketball in their country and especially the women's game. We hope the growth and success of the women's game continues into the future, thanks in part to the FIBA Women's National Team Competition System."