The 27th FIBA-Asia tournament draw: The groupings revealed

LAST UPDATE

MANILA HOTEL, Manila—Today it becomes real. The draw to determine the groupings of the upcoming 27th FIBA-Asia tournament to be held in Manila from August 1-11 is upon us and today we learn if Gilas Pilipinas gets a set of easy assignments in the first elimination phase or have the misfortune of finding itself in the notorious “Group of Death”.

Also, for the first time in the history of FIBA televising the competitions has there been a television special dedicated solely to the draw itself. Akin to how the NBA draft is brought to captive audiences, Solar’s Basketball TV (BTV) shows the entire process LIVE before millions of Filipinos. FIBA TV acknowledged that this is indeed the first time the draw is given this much exposure.

“We intend to make the televiewers witness the whole process by which the groupings will be determined,” explains Solar Entertainment Corporation’s Sports Marketing and Business Development Director Martin David. “Since we got news that the Philippines will be hosting this prestigious tournament, we’ve gone no-holds-barred on how we will be televising the whole experience, starting with today’s draw.”

The “Draw” is moderated by Solar News’ Jinno Rufino with “The Dean” Quinito Henson and BTV basketball analyst Alex Compton. Riki Flores does the interviewing duties on the floor. The draw host is Patricia Bermudez-Hizon.

Present here at the Centennial Hall of this historic hotel is the entire brain thrust of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) led by its Executive Director Sonny Barrios and Vice-Chairman Ricky Vargas along with representatives from the other nations that will be seeing action in the tournament. FIBA Asia’s Secretary General Hagop Khajirian is also here to oversee the proceedings.

The only zone whose representatives are yet to be determined are those from our Southeast Asia region as the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championships will be conducted towards the end of June.

1:11PM--representatives from Japan, Qatar and Bahrain have arrived, according to SBP Marketing Officer Epok Quimpo...

1:19 PM--Patricia Hizon is now calling in the representatives for the participating countries so that the draw may commence...

1:26 PM--two members of the 1973 RP gold medal basketball team have arrived in Jimmy Mairano and Yoyong Martirez. Patricia is now having the delegates sit at the presidential table...

1:28 PM--Occuying the Presidential table are Barrios, Vargas, Mr. Hagop, LOC Liaison chief Moying Martelino. There is another table below them where Martirez, Mariano now joined by Manny Paner and Mon Fernandez now sit...

1:31 PM--Norman Black and Nash Racela are also here sitting at the Philippines table...

1:33 PM--Patricia just announced that we will be starting in two minutes. Representatives from Saudi Arabia, China, Korea, Indonesia, Jordan, Hong Kong are now here...

1:37 PM--SBP Chairman Oscar Moreno has just been introduced as the pleasantries get underaway...

1:38 PM--Ricky Vargas delivers his welcome remarks...

1:39 PM--Joe Lipa and Rey Gamboa arrive...

1:41 PM--Hagop Khajirian now opening the draw proceedings...

1:43 PM--Media here in full force...

1:44 PM--1973 Champions being recognized. Members who have made it here are Fernandez, Paner, Martirez and Mariano...

1:47 PM: Representatives being acknowledged by Patricia...

1:52 PM: Draw begins. Group A--JORDAN

1:53 PM: Jimmy Mariano draws CHINESE TAIPEI, Group A as well...

1:55 PM: Yoyong Martirez draws SAUDI ARABIA for Group A

1:57 PM--Manny Paner draws for Group C, CHINA

1:59 pm--Mon Fernandez draws SOUTH KOREA in Group C, now looking like Group of Death

2:01PM--Oscar Moreno draws JAPAN for Group B

2:03 pm--Dr. Herrera draws QATAR for Group B

2:04 PM--Sonny Barrios draws LEBANON for Group B

2:08 PM--We are on a short break

2:09 PM--Moying Martelino draws IRAN for Group C!

2:11 pm--Group C OFFICIALLY the Group of Death!

2:12 PM--Ricky Vargas draws Kazakhstan for Group D, the first team in that group...

2:13PM--Group D, SEABA 1* and India...

2:17 PM--Norman Black on the phone with Coach Chot on the Philippines group decision...

2:19 PM--Norman Black announces that the Philippines selects GROUP A!

2:20 PM--Mr. Hagop draws SEABA 2 for Group C, Bahrain for Group B, Hong Kong for Group B

2:24 PM--Mr. Hagop announces that SEABA 1 and SEABA 2 do not mean that they will be awarded to the winner and runner-up, respectively of the SEABA championships. After the SEABA championships conclude, the top two teams will be drawn for the group assignments.

2:29 PM--Chino Trinidad speaks during press conference to assure Chinese Taipei that they will be safe in the Philippines, Mr. Hagop announces that the tournament schedule will be released no later than Monday, next week

2:33 PM--Draw is officially ended

2:35 PM--Update on the Final Groupings:

Group A: JORDAN, CHINESE TAIPEI, SAUDI ARABIA, PHILIPPINES

Group B: JAPAN, QATAR, LEBANON, HONG KONG

Group C: CHINA, SOUTH KOREA, IRAN, SEABA 2

Group D: KAZAKHSTAN, SEABA 1, INDIA, BAHRAIN

SBP Chairman Oscar Moreno just delivered his closing speech. We're done from here at the Manila Hotel! I'll write the full recap and article in a bit...

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