By Rey Joble

Multi-million coliseum to be put up by US-designed team

Posted on January 05, 2015

A US-DESIGNED group well verse in creating casinos in the United States has already been tapped by the Solaire Group to build a multi-million new coliseum in Manila, which could become one of the possible venues for the staging of the FIBA World Cup in 2019.

Donato ‘Natoy’ Almeda, board director of the Solaire Group Resort and Casino, has informed the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas of their group’s plan to become part of the hosting bid for the staging of the biggest basketball tournament in the world.

Ipinakilala sa akin ni Natoy Almeda yung US-designed group. Sila yung gumawa ng mga sikat na casinos sa US like Sands, MGM and etc.,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.

According to the US-designed group, they would ask for the design needed by FIBA and they would work on it right away.

“They told us that they will make a presentation that will sweep them off their feet,” added Barrios.

Having multiple venues is one of the crucial requirements of FIBA for the country’s hosting bid. The Philippines along with China are jostling for the hosting rights.

In case the hosting rights is awarded to the Philippines, this will be the first time since 1978 that the World Championship will be held in Manila.

Barrios is confident though that because of the presentation they made in Geneva wherein the FIBA officials were impressed, the hosting rights will be awarded to us.

“That’s one thing good about working with Manuel V. Pangilinan. It seems that nothing is impossible,” said Barrios. “Hindi puwedeng hihina-hina ka. Kailangan you have to work and be more efficient.”

Aside from the Solaire Group, the Philippines already have existing venues in the metropolis that should pass the FIBA standards -- the Araneta Coliseum, which hosted the 1978 World Championship, the Mall of Asia Arena, site of the FIBA Asia Championship in 2013 and the newly-established Philippine Arena, which catered to the PBA opening and drew a record crowd of more than 52,000 on opening day.

The SM Group is also putting up a coliseum near SM Cebu while Mayor Monico Puentebella, former commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission, is also planning to have one in Bacolod. These venues would suffice the requirements needed by the international basketball federation for the Philippines’ hosting bid.