Bilbao, Spain Providing Extra Security For Team USA During FIBA World Cup Group Play
Team USA competing in Bilbao during the group phase of the FIBA World Cup "did not happen by accident," according to Víctor García of EL PAIS. For the four cities hosting games during this phase -- Granada, Las Palmas, Seville and Bilbao -- "the prize team was host Spain, and immediately after," the U.S. Granada "was able to host Spain." Bilbao "gathered all the most attractive ingredients to make FIBA put the U.S. team" in the capital of Biscay: "security formed by the BBT -- (Basque Country police force) Ertzaintza's intervention team -- recommendations from the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, who played a friendly in Bilbao last year, and advice from sponsor BBVA." The treatment that the U.S. team receives and the "corresponding security measures involve a plan different than what is in place for other teams." Unlike other squads, Team USA's arrival was "secured by land and air." The team's buses are "accompanied by Ertzaintza motorcycles, cars and vans, in addition to a helicopter." Another unique aspect of the U.S. team is that its bus is "the only one that features no marking with the name of the country" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 9/1).