FIBA ASIAMANILA — Preparations for the country’s hosting of the 27th FIBA-Asia Championship have started with the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) partnering with Solar Entertainment Corp. to ensure that fans in far away provinces can watch all the actions during the 11-day tournament.

The tournament will be held on August 1-11, 2013.

Solar Entertainment Corp. COO Peter Chanliong welcomed the challenge to broadcast nationwide the important sports event as he and SPB president Manny Pangilinan hope to bring back the magic of 1973 when the country hosted the tournament, then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC).

In that year, more than 8,000 fans came to watch the championship match between the Philippine team – led then by Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Bogs Adornado, Francis Arnaiz and Abet Guidaben – and South Korea.

The Philippines won that battle royale, 90-78, but some fans went home not-so happy after they were turned away because there was no more available space in the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Solar Sports, Chanliong said, holds the broadcasting rights for the FIBA events and tournaments until Dec. 31, 2015.

The tournament will serve as the qualifier for the World Championship in Spain next year.

To ensure success of the coverage, Solar Sports is now negotiating with  several networks, including Pangilinan’s AKTV, to see which among them would be the best TV partner.

The top three finishers in the event will advance to the World Championship.