22 - 30
September 2018
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Women's basketball showpiece event set to take center stage in Tenerife and around the world

TENERIFE (FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018) - The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 was officially launched at a gala dinner held in El Auditorio Adan Martin de Santa Cruz on Friday night, ahead of the competition tipping off on Saturday.

FIBA President Horacio Muratore and Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) President Jorge Garbajosa headlined the list of top-ranking officials on hand at the special event and were joined by distinguished guests, including: Spain's Secretary of State for Sport, Maria Jose Rienda; the President of the local autonomous government, Carlos Alonso; FEB Vice-President and Event Director Jose Montero; the Mayor of La Laguna, Jose Alberto Diaz; the Mayor of Santa Cruz, Jose Manuel Bermudez; the General Director of Sports for the Government of the Canary Islands, Jose Francisco Perez.

Also on hand were representatives of all 16 participating teams, as well as of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and the local authorities for both host cities.

Mr Muratore said: "It's a great pleasure to be in Tenerife for the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018. Over the next nine days, San Cristóbal de la Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife will host the 16 best national teams from around the world as they embark on journeys to be crowned world champions. In 2017, we had the privilege of successfully hosting a pair of leading FIBA events - the Final Four of the inaugural Basketball Champions League season and the FIBA Intercontinental Cup - right here in Tenerife. We're excited to be back in these familiar surroundings and a part of Spain which has contributed to the country's success on the basketball courts.

"For several years now FEB has been a leader in all aspects of women's basketball, setting an example within the FIBA Family through its commitment and dedication to growing, enhancing and maximizing their program. The initiative 'Universo Mujer Baloncesto' - which is at the service of girls and women involved in all facets of basketball, both on and off the court - is proof of this. Having been part of a long-term plan launched by FEB prior to Spain hosting the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2014, it is now reaching its culmination point with Tenerife 2018 and has been a key resource in the organization of the competition."

Mr Garbajosa said: "From this very moment, the whole international basketball community has started to feel the warmth of the people of Tenerife, their commitment to basketball and their determination to turn these nine days of competition into an unforgettable memory. This championship is a recognition of the magnificent level of our sport on a global scale, but it is also the proof of a commitment for the consolidation of women's basketball and the creation of a system that unequivocally recognizes - as we, in the Spanish Basketball Federation, already do - the equality of gender in all areas. We hope this World Cup becomes the best in history and we would also like to lead the movement that looks to match the conditions of men and women.

Mrs Rienda said: "This World Cup will be a success thanks to the great skills of all of the national teams as well as the great work of the organization - from FEB and FIBA to the local corporations, without forgetting the effort of the volunteers. I'm convinced that all those who visit Spain, and especially the island of Tenerife, will go back home with great memories from this World Cup. I'm sure our national team will give everything and, once again, be an example of the right values for all of our society."

Mr Muratore added: "The 2018 edition of FIBA's flagship women's competition stands out for a couple of reasons. To begin with, it marks the first time the tournament is played as the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, after having been known as the FIBA World Championship for Women from 1953 to 2014. The name change reflects the true prestige and quality that come with the event which is, quite simply, the biggest international women's basketball tournament. Secondly, this staging of the event will be remembered as the last one before women's basketball enters a new era. Indeed, in November 2019, the FIBA Women's National Team Competition System will come into effect and set out a clear road to all of FIBA's main women's competitions - the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, the Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament and the FIBA Women's Continental Cups - over a four-year cycle.

"The new system will enhance the exposure of the women's game with more regular national team activity in all regions throughout the year. This will result in increased inclusion and competitiveness as more teams and players participate in each region's qualification phase. Moreover, the regular organization of tournaments at home will assist in the development of our National Member Federations and enable them to aim for - and hopefully reach - the heights achieved by a select few, including FEB, our hosts for this Women's World Cup.

"Our deepest gratitude goes out to FEB, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), as well as to the basketball bodies and local authorities of the Canary Islands, across Tenerife and in the towns of San Cristóbal de la Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife for their tireless commitment in ensuring that the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 will be a memorable occasion for all involved."