By Joe Zaldarriaga

Solid support for PH FIBA World Cup 2023 hosting

September 13, 2022, 10:04 am

PH public and private sectors have put up a reinforced unified front to ensure the success of the Philippines’ hosting of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The event, which will be co-hosted with Japan and Indonesia, is set to be one of the biggest basketball events in the country and is GILAS PILIPINAS’ access to the sport’s global stage.  

As early as 2019, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has been closely coordinating with critical stakeholders, including the national government and several private institutions, to ensure that all preparations are in place and runs parallel with the goal of providing the best basketball experience for players and fans, ultimately making the 2023 World Cup the best one yet.

In a recent statement, SBP President Alfredo ‘Al’ S. Panlilio said, “We have been working for this since before the World Cup in China in 2019. During this pandemic, we’ve had a lot of virtual meetings. We’ve been having board meetings at the level of MVP (SBP Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan) and the heads of the other host countries the past year. We’ve been discussing the budget and other matters”. Panlilio is also the First Vice President of Philippine Olympic Committee, a sports leader, and a former basketball player of Ateneo and Fuji Soy Sauce at the Philippine Amateur Basketball League or PABL.

SBP executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios added they have also started to reach out to the national government, the Office of the President, the Legislative branch, and most especially the Department of Tourism to help in organizing and hosting the event. Barrios added that there are also plans to meet with the MVP Group and San Miguel Corporation—two of the Philippines’ largest conglomerates which are very active in supporting sports competitions.

Newly appointed Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Noli Eala also expressed his support in the country’s hosting of the Cup and encouraged Filipinos to support the event.
Hosting the FIBA World Cup is set to create a ripple of positive impact to the country -- it will boost the PH reputation in the field of sports, and the series of events is expected to generate revenues for the country.

A FIBA study showed that when Spain hosted the World Cup in 2019 prior to the emergence of Covid-19, the country raked in $396 million or PHP22.6 billion in revenues while only setting an operational budget of $38.6 million or PHP2.2 billion.

Based on the study, basketball fans from nearby countries who visited Spain to watch the games spent $82.2 million or PHP4.7 billion in lodging, food, and other personal expenses, to cheer for their national teams.

The government of Spain earned $74.3 million or PHP4.25 billion in taxes from hosting the event alone.

The PH tourism industry, now on its way to recovery, is also likely to benefit from this international sports competition. It is a global arena where Filipinos can showcase on the country’s natural wonders, great culture and most importantly, the talent and skills of our people in the field of basketball.

Basketball fan or not, our collective support is crucial to boosting the confidence of our team in representing and winning for our country. Events as big as this comes once in a lifetime -- I was 14 years old when we hosted the World Championships in 1978, and now, I am nearing my discount years.

I will cheer my lungs out for the Philippines just like I did more than 40 years ago -- win or lose. It is the least I can do to support. After all, I am a Filipino.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the foregoing article are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) or any other office under the Office of the Press Secretary.


About the Columnist

Image of Joe Zaldarriaga

Mr. Joe Zaldarriaga, fondly called "Manong Joe", is a distinguished figure in the country’s corporate communications landscape. Holding the position of Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications at Manila Electric Company (Meralco), he has orchestrated unparalleled success for the utility company, winning accolades for their brand of service communications.

Under his guidance, Meralco achieved unprecedented milestones, clinching a historic 3-peat Company of the Year title at the IABC Philippine Quill Awards, scoring the only PR Team of the Year trophy bestowed at the Anvil Awards, and securing numerous honors at international and local communication awards.

Manong Joe's leadership also extends as a respected member of the Board of Trustees for the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), concurrent with his role as Chairman of the International Association of Business Communicators Philippines (IABC Philippines) where he also served as its President.

Manong Joe is a distinguished awardee of the medallion of honor and scroll of commendation from the University of Manila, owing to his years in public service as a communications professional. He shares his insights through columns in renowned publications, including The Philippine Star’s The Z Factor, and Philippine News Agency's ESPRESSO MORNINGS.