FIBA, SBP hoping World Cup 2023 will be ‘best ever’
Published on February 25, 2022

Preparations are well underway for the Philippines’ joint hosting of the FIBA World Cup 2023.

In a press conference on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, FIBA World Cup 2023 Executive Director David Crocker, SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios, and SBP President Al Panlilio shared the latest developments on the premier basketball tournament that the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan are set to co-host next year. 

The Naismith Trophy, the coveted prize awarded to FIBA World Cup champions, also made an appearance at the Big Dome as part of its global tour.

FIBA and SBP said that the Joint Management Committee (JMC), the supervisory body of the FIBA World Cup 2023, has been meeting regularly as the three countries ramp up their hosting preparations. 

“The JMC is a critical part of the successful delivery of the World Cup,” Crocker said. “It’s the way FIBA with the host nations collaborate to promote the event, to market the event. It’s really a key part for us to work well with the local hosts to make sure that we get the message out.”

“There have been a lot of collaborative meetings, first time face-to-face, but to David’s point, the past two years have been a lot of work,” said Panlilio. “The pandemic has impacted some of the plans but we continue to work together to make sure that we do come up with the best hosting next year.”

The 2023 edition of the tournament will certainly be unique with three countries hosting. The three-pronged approach of putting together a world-class basketball event may present a lot of challenges, including staging it during the pandemic, but FIBA and SBP were proud to report that the collaborations among stakeholders have been going well.

“Culturally, the three countries are quite different. The way that the setup for each country is quite different but the logic that sits behind the decisions we’ve made collectively as three hosts and as FIBA, has really been quite in sync with each other,” Crocker said. “It gives us great hope that we’re gonna have a major event in three countries which looks like a single event. That’s what’s really exciting about this World Cup.”

Ticket-selling for the FIBA World Cup 2023 will kick off on March 1. Fans will have an early opportunity to reserve seats and support their teams. Special passes will also be available, allowing fans to watch multiple games.

“This is a premium event. This is the best international basketball event in the world,” Crocker said. “Our hope and our expectation are that it will be the best ever.”

Group stages of the World Cup will be held in the three countries, while the final stages will take place in the Philippines. Both FIBA and SBP are expecting fans from across the globe to fill up the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena, and Philippine Arena. 

With a year and a half left till the FIBA World Cup 2023, SBP hopes that the hosting preparations will continue to run efficiently and smoothly. 

More importantly, there is heightened anticipation and excitement for Gilas Pilipinas to compete against the world’s best teams in front of its home crowd. 

“Every team is after this trophy next year,” Panlilio said, referring to the Naismith Trophy. “Hopefully next year when it comes back to the Philippines, it doesn’t leave the shores anymore.”