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Yao Ming helps bring 2019 FIBA World Cup to China

China has won the right to host the 2019 basketball World Cup, beating the Philippines in Friday’s vote in Tokyo.

The sport’s international ruling body FIBA chose basketball-mad China following a presentation by the country’s delegation, helped by former NBA giant Yao Ming.

“I’m very excited to bring the 2019 World Cup to China,” said the one-time Houston Rockets great, who represented China at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“I’m sure millions of Chinese fans share the same joy. I know the feeling to play in your home country and I’m sure that same feeling will encourage many young athletes to play basketball.

“We have to make sure we deliver on the promises we’ve made,” added Yao, arguably his country’s biggest sporting celebrity.

“We have to develop the level of basketball in China, in the national team, in the professional league, in high school and college.”

The Philippines lost out, meanwhile, despite the support of boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, himself an avid basketball fan, who was on hand in Tokyo to press his country’s case.

via Yao Ming excited for 2019 FIBA World Cup in China | | Sports5.