By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

FIBA WORLD CUP 2023. The flags of the participating countries of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup have been raised in front of the Smart Coliseum, Araneta City, Cubao, Quezon City on Aug. 17, 2023. The games will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, and MOA Arena in Pasay City from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, 2023. (PNA photo by Robert Alfiler) 

MANILA – It is all systems go for the country’s hosting of the 19th edition of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup 2023 that will be held from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Brig. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. on Wednesday said the police force is ready in securing the event in Metro Manila

Nartatez said some 2,225 police officers were deployed in different vicinities and areas where the event will be held to ensure the protection of all participants in the FIBA World Cup and guarantee that there will be no untoward incident to happen.

“As the host in providing the safety and security for the participants of FIBA, NCRPO ensures that we are prepared to cater the needs of all the athletes, delegates, and all other foreign guests throughout the event and during their stay in our country,” Nartatez said in a statement.

“Together with other government agencies and stakeholders, we will be able to bring another success to our planning and management of security measures that would be implemented for future local and international major events in our country,” he added.

Site Task Group (STG) Metro Manila FBWC (FIBA Basketball World Cup) 2023 was organized to serve as the primary body in charge of security operations and other public-related safety service during the games.

In addition, coordinating meetings with Philippine Sports Commission, local government units, other stakeholders and government agencies have been conducted to organize a collaborated security preparation in maintaining peace and order as one of the host countries.

Participants and delegates have started arriving in the country since Thursday including Team USA, one of the projected top contenders for the FIBA World Cup, as well as the team from Angola, Mexico, Egypt, Puerto Rico, Egypt and Dominican Republic.

The Philippines, Japan and Indonesia are co-hosts in the Aug. 25 to Sept. 10 tournament, dubbed the Olympics of Basketball.

The Philippines will host 15 other nations in the group phase at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City and the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

Opening ceremony will be held at the Philippine Arena and two matches, including the Philippines-Dominican Republic game, while the MOA Arena will also hold two games on Aug. 25.

The final phase will also be played at the MOA Arena.

No security threats detected for FIBA World Cup 

PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. on Wednesday said they are still to detect any security threats for the FIBA World Cup.

“Our intelligence operatives are monitoring possible threats. So far, they are still to detect any. But nevertheless, we are doing our best. Whenever there are situations that may arise ay nakahanda ang ating kapulisan (our police are ready),” he said in a radio interview.

Meanwhile, various maintenance activities have been undertaken along roads leading to the airport, hotels, and venues of the FIBA World Cup 2023, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported on Wednesday.

According to DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan, citing a report from National Capital Region Director Loreta Malaluan, the various District Engineering Offices in Metro Manila have been instructed as rarly as July to extend support to the Philippine Sports Commission by ensuring that the designated FIBA routes are in good condition.

“We have conducted pothole operations ensuring national roads leading to event venues such as the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City and Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City are well-maintained,” he said in a statement.

Bonoan added that emergency road repairs were also undertaken along portions of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) Carousel that were damaged by recent typhoon and monsoon rains.

At the same time, he noted that DPWH road works in the National Capital Region will be suspended to ease traffic during the country’s hosting of the international sports event.

Exempted from road works suspension are flagship projects and emergency road repairs. (With a report from Ferdinand G. Patinio/PNA)