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February 22, 2007
FIBA lifts ban on the Philippines

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 22, 2007 - FIBA has lifted the suspension of the national basketball federation of the Philippines. This will now allow the national teams to compete again in FIBA competitions.

President Manuel V. Pangilinan of the newly founded BAP-Samahang Basketball ng Pilipina Inc, received the good news in a fax from FIBA’s Secretary General Patrick Baumann.

Baumann said that the recent accreditation from the Philippine Olympic Committee allowed the federation to be welcomed back to the international governing body.

“The BAP-Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas Inc replaces the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) as a duly affiliated member of FIBA taking over all of its rights and obligations," Baumann wrote.

The lift of the suspension concluded a two-and-a-half year long struggle over the control of the national basketball federation in the Philippines, where basketball is the most popular sport.

In the summer of 2006 the controversy reached a turning point when all parties agreed with the so-called Tokyo Communiqué, approved by the FIBA Central Board. Beginning of February 2007 a solution was finally on its way. Under the leadership of Mr Pangilinan, Chairman, the Three-Men Panel met in Bangkok to sort out the latest differences between Philipinas Basketball (PB) and Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP), under the supervision of FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann, FIBA Asia President Sheik Saoud Bin Al Thani and FIBA Asia Secretary General Dato Yeoh Choo Hock.

The Three-Men Panel agreed on all major outstanding issues and agreed to proceed with the Unity Congress in Manila. PB and BAP called on all their stakeholders to attend the Unity Congress.

FIBA and FIBA Asia approved the agreement and fully supported the holding of the Unity Congress. FIBA and FIBA Asia therefore encouraged all basketball stakeholders, in particular all members of BAP and PB, to unite by attending the meeting in Manila.

The Unity Congress was held on February 5, 2007, in the presence of FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann and delegates from the Philippine Olympic Committee. With the successful staging of the Unity Congress the role of the Three-Men Panel had successfully completed in accordance with the Tokyo Communiqué and the merger between BAP and PB consummated, resulting into a new national federation for basketball with new structures, by-laws and leaders.

That paved the way for the official Philippines Olympic Committee and FIBA accreditations and for the lifting of the suspension of the Philippines from international competitions.

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