New PSC chair expresses support for World Cup hosting, Gilas campaign

Newly-appointed Philippine Sports Commission chairman Noli Eala expressed his full support for the country’s hosting of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the campaign of the Gilas Pilipinas national team in the global showpiece.

PSC Chairman Noli Eala (fourth from the left) with SBP officials led by executive director Sonny Barrios (fifth from the left) (Photo from PSC)

Known as an avid supporter of the sport having served as PBA commissioner and executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in the past, Eala also asked Filipinos to rally behind the federation and the national team as they prepare for the huge event that is expected to turn the country into a basketball hotbed in less than a year's time.

“I encourage everyone, not just the basketball-loving Filipinos, to support the country’s hosting of the World Cup, which gives so much pride for the Philippines being one of the hosts, and stay behind our very own Gilas Pilipinas team,” said Eala, who now leads the government’s sports agency, succeeding Butch Ramirez.

Eala added that the PSC is all out in giving its support to the hosting of the World Cup which is seen not just to showcase world-class hosting capabilities, but will also provide an economic boost to the country that is still trying to get its feet up on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For one, the PSC chair was one of the catalysts of the development of the national team program when he started the Smart Gilas Pilipinas team in 2008 which evolved and further developed into the Gilas program that it is today under program director Chot Reyes.

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, members of SBP, led by executive director Sonny Barrios who also serves as event director for the FIBA World Cup 2023, paid a courtesy call to Eala who was then joined by PSC commissioner and Philippine Sports Hall of Fame inductee Bong Coo.

Joining Barrios were deputy event director Erika Dy, division chief for operations, local organizing committee Dickie Bachmann, Smart Communications representative Jude Turcuato, SBP legal consultant and chairman of FIBA legal commissione Atty. Aga Francisco and head of operations, joint management committee, Philippines, FIBAWC 2023 John Lucas.