The FIBA Central Board has announced on Friday that the FIBA Basketball World Cup's final phase will now be played at the Mall of Asia Arena instead of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“Despite improvements tested with transport and traffic engineers, the Board came to the conclusion that an event with multiple sessions in one day like the Final Phase of the World Cup couldn't be delivered to the standards required for the players and fans experience,” said FIBA in a statement.
The change also meant Gilas Pilipinas will be playing its first two games at the Philippine Arena.
The FIBA Central Board explained that despite the completion of the constructed toll road connecting Metro Manila to the Philippine Arena, “serious traffic and transport concerns” have been identified.
“The main concern leading to the decision was the requirement to provide consistent and swift transfer of the teams and fans to multiple games over the six days of the Final Phase. Despite completing the construction of a toll road connecting Metro Manila with the Philippines Arena in 2021, it could only be tested in real conditions since November 2022, after COVID restrictions were lifted,” added the statement.
The sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers was held at the Philippine Arena, where Gilas split its matches.
The Philippines routed Lebanon, 107-96, before dropping a narrow 90-91 decision to Jordan in the final pair of games held last February.
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