FIBA resets decision on winning OQT bids

The Philippines and nine other countries seeking to hold one of three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQT) in July next year will have to wait until January 11 to find out which three bids have been favored by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) with the hosting rights.

This after the FIBA Executive Committee, citing “technical reasons” and nothing else specific, informed the national federations of all 10 countries that it “will not be able to make a decision on the Hosts of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments on 23 November as previously communicated.”

The letter of communication addressed to the presidents and secretary generals of the national federations of Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Turkey and the Philippines was signed by FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann.

FIBA left three windows open for entry to the Olympic Games in Rio d Janeiro in August 2016 by announcing that three OQTs will be simultaneously held in July, with the winners gaining passage to the quadrennial sports conclave.

Putting behind the Philippine team’s loss to China in the final of the recent FIBA Asia Championship – the Olympic qualifier in the region – the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, through its president Manny V. Pangilinan, moved to have one of the OQTs staged in Manila, sending all bidding requirements to FIBA’s Geneva headquarters on the appointed Nov. 11 deadline.

As a consequence of FIBA postponing its decision on the winning rights until January 19, 2016, the OQT Draw Ceremony inevitably has also been rescheduled from November 24, 2015 to January 26, 2016.

“You will get confirmation of the programme very soon,” said Baumann, who apologized for the “short-notice information.”

While the November 11 zero hour for the submission of the Bidding Files was left as it is, FIBA extended the deadline for the bidders “to provide the bank guarantees” to January 11 at the latest.

All bids will now be evaluated until the end of the year, with FIBA getting in touch with the winning countries and organizing visits, if necessary.