31 August
15 September, 2019
2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Host Announcement Ceremony
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Yao and Pacquiao lead displays of passion in lead-up to 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup decision

TOKYO (2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup) - The delegations of the People's Republic of China and of the Republic of the Philippines gave clear impressions that the love of the sport is what drives them to want to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

This was evident as the leading figures behind both bids addressed the media, just hours before FIBA's Central Board is set to make its decision.

Here are some of the strong statements of intent that were made.

Yao Ming, China 2019 Ambassador and basketball star (asked to compare, based on his visits to the Philippines, the love of basketball there compared to the love of basketball in China): "You can't say that one type of love is better than the other. Both are great. Both countries have a great passion for basketball, particularly for FIBA basketball."

Manny Pacquiao, Philippines Congressman and eight-time world boxing champion: "I am a boxer but I am here because I love basketball so that tells you the passion that Filipinos have for basketball. If we host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, we can show that passion to the world."

Zhang Jiandong, Vice Mayor of Beijing and Chairman of the China 2019 bid committee: "At least 300 million people play basketball in China and if we host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, we can increase that participation. China is the most populous country in the world and we can make basketball the most popular sport in the world. We believe that we can make the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup a complete success because of China's economic stability, strong financial guarantee and the government's complete support. We can make it a safe, most reliable and risk-free event."

Manuel V Pangilinan, President of the Philippines Basketball Association: "In our country, basketball is number one. Ninety percent of the population play, watch or follow the sport in one way or another. It's not just Filipinos in the Philippines that are passionate about the sport. It's Filipinos all over the world. Football may be number one in many places around the world, but basketball is number one in the Philippines."

Gao Zhidan, Vice-President of the Chinese Olympic Committee: "Basketball is very popular in China and if we host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, we can foresee a great rise in that popularity. This will have a great impact on the professional league (CBA) as well as the university league which is developing very fast. It will help with our aim to train more athletes and get a bigger pool of talented players."

Lou Diamond Phillips, Filipino actor and director: "The Philippines has come of age and we are incredibly hopeful of geting to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. We are the biggest social media country and we already have more than two billion impressions of #PUSO2019."

From left to right: Yao Ming, Gao Zhidan, Zhang Jiandong, Manuel V Pangilinan, Manny Pacquiao and Lou Diamond Phillips

The Official Announcement Ceremony will be streamed live on FIBA's YouTube Channel, starting at 16:00 local/Tokyo time (GMT +9). The two finalists will present their bids before FIBA's Central Board makes and announces its decision.