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SBP targets successful FIBA World Cup hosting, record-breaking attendance 

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SBP targets successful FIBA World Cup hosting, record-breaking attendance 
The SBP is confident the Philippines, regarded as a basketball-crazy nation, can break the previous record set in a FIBA game a few years ago.
FIBA.com

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is looking not just to stage a successful FIBA World Cup hosting, but also targeting a record-breaking attendance in a game when the biggest basketball event returns to the country for the first time in 45 years.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio shared the vision of the country’s basketball governing body in ensuring the biggest World Cup event that will be hosted for the first time by multiple countries.

The Philippines will be honored to stage the most number of games, including the final phase of the tournament to be held at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena, which set the record for most number of attendance in a PBA game.

In Game Seven of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, the game between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco set the record for the most number of attendance in a PBA game as it drew a crowd of 54,086 who packed the Philippine Arena.

The SBP is confident the Philippines, regarded as a basketball-crazy nation, can break the previous record set in a FIBA game a few years ago.

“What we would like to do is to break the record of 36,000-plus attendance in a FIBA game. If we play at the Philippine Arena, we’ll definitely beat that record,” said Panlilio during his presentation to the Senate on Monday.

Eight teams will play at the Philippine Arena — two qualifiers each coming from our co-hosts countries Japan and Indonesia — and four in the group stage matches that will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

According to Panlilio, there will be a total of 92 games all in all for this year’s World Cup to be participated by 32 teams. A total of  20 games apiece will take place in Jakarta, Okinawa and 20 games each at the two venues in Manila — the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the SM Mall of Asia Arena — and the remaining games in the final stage to be played at the Philippine Arena.       

For Panlilio, bringing in the FIBA World Cup was a product of resiliency, especially by Manny Pangilinan, the former president of the SBP and chief backer of the program, who now serves as Chairman Emeritus of the SBP.  
      
“After we lost the FIBA World Cup hosting bid to China in 2015 when we were in Tokyo, we never stopped dreaming and led by our Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, the idea of multi-country hosting was born and in 2017, we were awarded together with Japan and Indonesia the hosting rights of the FIBA World Cup 2023,” said Panlilio during his presentation to the Senate. 

“This will be the third consecutive World Cup Gilas Pilipinas will be participating in (under SBP) – the first was in Spain in 2014, and the second was in China in 2019.”

But Panlilio believes in the vision of the World Cup and the impact this global event is going to bring in to the country. 

“It’s our vision to bring the nation together for the FIBA World Cup and be recognized as among the five premium sporting events in 2023. The three customer-based we’re focusing on are the teams, the fans and FIBA,” he added.

The World Cup will be held from August 25 to September 10, but before this competition starts, the SBP takes pride on holding another major FIBA-sanctioned event.  

“Also just to highlight before this event, we’re also hosting the FIBA National Congress that will bring over 200 basketball federations to the country,” he added.

A total of 450 delegates from more than 200 federations under the world basketball governing body will take part in the FIBA National Congress.

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