FIBA World Cup 2023 — A feather in the cap of PH

Posted by watchmen
February 13, 2024
Posted in Better Days


By Sonny Angara

It is not that often that a country is given an opportunity to take part in an event that has a global following and one that has the potential to reap huge benefits for the host.

In 2023, we were fortunate to have been selected as one of three countries, alongside Japan and Indonesia, to host the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup. Considered as the biggest basketball tournament in the world, the FIBA World Cup was held between August 25 and September 10, 2023 in Okinawa, Japan; Jakarta in Indonesia; and here in Manila.

A total of 32 national teams competed in the World Cup, which showcased 55 players from the National Basketball Association, 15 of which are stars in their respective teams.

Over 700,000 hoops fans were in attendance for the 92 games of the World Cup, both local and foreign spectators who traveled long distances to support their respective national squads. Filipino fans were just as hyped to watch this major sporting event and this was demonstrated in full during the opening ceremony held at the Philippine Arena where 38,115 fans were in attendance — a new record for a FIBA World Cup event.

More than pride and bragging rights, the country’s hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup resulted in direct and indirect economic impacts. A significant amount of spending was done by the organizers in preparation for the event, including setting up the venues, booking the hotels and providing food for the delegates, transportation, merchandise and other related activities.

The event in turn generated revenues for the organizers, particularly those that originated from foreign sources. Domestically, the influx of visitors and the local interest in the games led to an increase in economic activity for the suppliers, hospitality and food and beverage sector, and other service providers.

A report prepared by Nielsen Sports pegged the economic impact of the World Cup at around P26.4 billion for the three host cities. As the host of the most number of games, including the final phase of the tournament, Manila had the highest economic impact at approximately P18.8 billion.

An economist also projected that Manila’s hosting of the World Cup contributed to 0.05 percent to 0.1 percent of GDP or around P2.5 billion to P5 billion in the third quarter of 2023. These numbers are impressive considering that it was all for just one event that lasted just a little over two weeks.

At the sidelines of the World Cup, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the FIBA Local Organizing Committee (LOC) also conducted activities and events including the FIBA Congress, which was participated by the Central Board and member countries, the Basketball for Good Charity Gala and Auction of the FIBA Foundation that raised over $320,000 to fund the organization’s grassroots initiatives and the renovation of a basketball court in Pasig City.

Bagging the hosting rights for the 2023 FIBA World Cup was a multi-stakeholder effort that started way back in 2017, led by SBP Chairman Emeritus Manny Pangilinan. We gained the rights to host this prestigious tournament again, nearly four decades after we first secured such in 1978. It was a particularly masterful touch when the idea was floated that the bid for hosting would be shared between three nations. This was a first in the flagship event’s entire history.

Our government also played a key role in this effort. President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. issued Administrative Order No. 5, s. 2023 that constituted an inter-agency task force and directed all government agencies and instrumentalities, and encouraged local government units to extend their support to the SBP in organizing, preparing and hosting the 2023 FIBA World Cup. For our part in Congress, we provided our support by allocating the funds necessary to host the event in the 2023 General Appropriations Act.

Gilas Pilipinas may not have emerged at the top in the actual competition, but with our hosting of the World Cup, we as Team Philippines have won a lot of other victories. For instance, not only did we solidify further our spot in the pantheon of basketball-loving countries, we also gained the experience and the know-how of organizing a truly world-class sporting event.

We should not allow the lessons we’ve learned and the confidence we’ve gained from this experience go to waste. Here was a clear example of what we as Filipinos can accomplish when we work together towards achieving a single vision. The fact that we have already done it with hosting the FIBA World Cup only means we can do it again for another world-class competition or another multi-country global event. Hopefully, with each iteration, we do better than the one before. At this point, we are only limited by our ambition.


Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 19 years — 9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 10 as Senator. He has authored, co-authored, and sponsored more than 330 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate.


Email: | Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara/WDJ

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