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China to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup

China nudged Philippines in the race to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

China basketball star Yao Ming with Philippines eight time boxing champion Manny Pacquiao

At a FIBA (The Internation Federation for Basketball) meeting taking place at the Prince Park Tower Hotel in Tokyo, China with the help of Yao Ming edged Philippines in the race to host the next FIBA World Cup to be held in 2019. Backed by its previous achievements of hosting the 2008 Olympics and its incredible infrastructure, China was always the clear favorite to host the 32 nation event considered to be the Olympics of Basketball.

Heading into the meeting, Philippines and China were the frontrunners to bag the hosting rights however once FIBA President Huracio Muratore announced the decision China was celebrating while the Philippines delegation was disappointed and frustrated. The failure to bag the hosting rights means Philippines must go through a tough continental qualifying tournament starting in November 2017 when Asia will be merged with Oceania for the six window, 15 month qualifying legs.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup will be the first time the tournament will feature 32 teams. China’s capital Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan, Suzhou, Wuhan and Donguan are the nine cities China has named to host the World Cup.

In his attempt to promote China’s bid to host the World Cup, Ming was going up against eight time boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who was pushing for the Phillippines to be the host. Philippines centered their presentation around the emotional connection the country has with the sport of basketball, so much so that it prompted Yao to intimately tell Jimmy Alapeg “Your country has a better presentation”.

Currently United States of America (USA) are the defending champions after they beat Serbia 129-92 in the gold medal game of the 2014 event that was held in Spain. Winning the event also ensure USA automatically qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

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