SEAG caging gets venue it deserves
The highly anticipated basketball events in the Southeast Asian Games will be held at SM Mall of Asia Arena, the modern, 15,000-seat venue that was earlier said to be unavailable.
This was confirmed by Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee chief operating officer Ramon “Tats” Suzara after a meeting with Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) officials.
Suzara, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas and SBP president Al Panlilio issued a joint statement Wednesday.
“We heard the voices of our people. We were also made aware that some sectors have started to put the blame on certain agencies without really understanding the complexities of the situation,” said the statement.
A separate statement from Panlilio confirmed the other thing that the country is clamoring for: a National team made up of PBA stars.
“As requested by POC president and PBA chair Ricky Vargas, to the SBP which we agreed, we want to bring nothing less than the best PBA talent that we can assemble. We want to win the gold medal in basketball and the SBP is fully committed to make this a reality,” said Panlilio.
“Holding an event of this magnitude is a shared responsibility among different sports elders and even our people,” added the statement. “This event is a showcase of our capacity to hold massive regional sporting events.”
Suzara said MOA Arena has finally accommodated the basketball event, which is considered the main attraction in the biennial meet owing to this country’s passion for the game.
The MOA Arena has staged the Fiba Asia Championships in 2013, and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, among other big basketball events.
But it was reported last week that it cannot hold the basketball games due to several events that got prior bookings.