Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio now has a bigger role to play in the development of the sport not just in the country but in the entire Asian region.
Panlilio was voted as the Second Vice President of the FIBA Asia Central Board during the General Assembly in Bengaluru, India over the weekend, which also coincided with the Draw Ceremony for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021.
In the elections, Sheikh Saud Ali Al Thani got his third term as President of FIBA Asia. He's now the third elected member of the FIBA Central Board for the 2019-2023 cycle.
Aside from Panlilio, the new board members of the Zone Assembly are Yao Ming (Chairman), Akram Halabi (Lebanon, First Vice President), Abhijit Sarker (India, Chairman Finance Committee), and Xu Lan (China, member of gender in minority).
"First of all, thank you for the privilege and recognition of being voted as Second Vice President for the FIBA Asia Central Board," Panlilio said in a statement. "I wish to thank FIBA Executive Director for Asia, Hagop Khajirian, for the support."
"I am looking forward to working even more closely with Hagop and the rest of the FIBA Asia Board led by President Sheikh Saud Ali Al Thani and hope I can contribute in the further development of basketball not only in Asia but globally, in alignment with FIBA HQ's objective of making basketball the number one sport in the world."
According to Ryan Gregorio, Special Assistant to the SBP President, this move speaks volumes of the respect that basketball leaders in the Asian region have for the Philippines.
"I think it's a great development for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas because it shows that we are a respected member of the FIBA Asia family," Gregorio said. "ASP will be part of the policy-making body to ensure the continuous growth of basketball in the region and the trickle-down effect is better grassroots development, which will ultimately lead to better basketball being played in the region."