The Philippines together with Italy and Serbia had been chosen as hosts of the 2016 Olympic qualifying tournaments scheduled from July 4 to 10. The announcement was made by FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball) late Tuesday night (Manila time) from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The wildcard round will feature teams that placed well during last year’s continental championships but still fell short of advancing outright to the 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas squad, for example, would have qualified immediately to the Olympics had it not lost to China during the finals of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championships.
Apart from the aforementioned three countries, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Mexico, and Turkey also expressed interest to host one of the qualifying tournaments for men’s basketball. France, for its part, will host the qualifying tournament for women’s basketball from June 13 to 19.
— FIBA (@FIBA) January 19, 2016
The Philippines hosted the 2013 FIBA Asian Championships and last year, it tried but failed to win the hosting rights to the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Gilas Pilipinas has been steadily making waves in the international scene in recent years, including runner-up finishes in the 2013 and 2015 FIBA Asian Championships as well as an appearance in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
The FIBA had earlier elucidated the following criteria in selecting host countries:
- Player welfare – best possible conditions for players
- Stakeholder experience – first-class event for spectators, teams, media and broadcasters, commercial partners as well as all other stakeholders. This includes venues filled to capacity and the provision of appropriate promotional strategy to achieve this goal.
- State-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure – FIBA aims at hosting events in high-level competition venues that meet or exceed its requirements.
- Legacy – event must bring benefits for basketball in the country, prestige and credit to the host nation and FIBA, as well as being of support to the strategic ambitions of the entire basketball family.
- Commercial model – the event must be based on sound commercial and promotional initiatives and be financially successful.