Just as the public euphoria over Beijing being chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics was beginning to die down, China got yet another piece of good mass sporting event related news yesterday when it was awarded the hosting rights for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
As if Filipinos needed another reason to hate China, the Central Board voted 14 to 7 in favor of China over the Philippines, in its final vote. Apparently, China will now serve as the official host for everything.
The Philippines may be nuts about basketball, but they don’t quite have a figure like superstar Yao Ming, who was on hand to give a quote or two. “It’s such an exciting moment to bring the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup to China and I’m sure that millions of fans are sharing this joy with us,” said Yao.
Yao, who of course played at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said that this would help to inspire more young athletes to pick up basketball. Which is good, because China needs all the help it can get.
China has a somewhat checkered history in FIBA World Championships of the past. The national team’s highest finish was 8th place in 1994. Humiliatingly, the team didn’t even make it to the final group of 24 teams in 2014, but the Philippines did. Revenge. Sweet revenge.
140 teams will compete during a 15-month qualification period to be among the 32 final teams playing in China, according to FIBA. Games will be played in eight cities: Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan… Wait, not Shanghai? What the hell?
Anyway, if you want to get hyped check out the official page with a countdown clock. Only 1482 days, 23 hours, 35 minutes and 42 seconds to go!
Seriously though, Foshan?
by Alex Linder