FIBA 3x3 World Cup in Philippine Arena expected to break attendance records

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 18, 2018 03:44 PM
FIBA 3x3 WC in Philippine Arena to break attendance records
The Philippines is promising that the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup will be bigger and better than ever (Photo courtesy of Chooks-to-Go)

The Philippines is hosting the FIBA 3x3 World Cup for the very first time from June 8 to 12.

And as they gear up for the hosting proper, the organizing committee is already making it clear that they want the Filipinos’ hosting to be bigger and better than ever. “From (both the) SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) and the FIBA’s point of view, we want bigger crowds to put the Philippines on the map,” SBP president Al Panlilio said.

He then continued, in his speech during the event’s launch on Thursday at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig, “This is a chance to prove we can host events like this.”

As such, the organizing committee has set the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan as the venue for the international meet.

Talking about the reason behind holding the tournament in the 55, 000-seater venue, Panlilio said, “We’ve been very successful holding it in the malls, but we chose to move it to a bigger venue because we want to give more people opportunities to watch the games.”

In 2016, the FIBA 3x3 World Tour played games at the SM Megamall in Ortigas, Pasig City and Robinson’s Place Ermita in Manila. There, crowds packed the venues to watch the likes of Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, and Terrence Romeo ball against foreign competitors.

Now, the SBP and its backers are expecting crowds to not only double, not only triple, but set the bar for attendance records. “Napag-uusapan yung breaking the (attendance) record, the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times,” Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas said.

Just like they did in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup a year ago, Chooks-to-Go and mother company Bounty Agroventures are fully behind the Philippines in all its endeavors.

Along with setting the bar for attendance records, of course, the Philippines is aiming for success in the competition.

That is even though the official team is yet to be named. “We still don’t have a team. We will have to sit down still for that,” SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said.

Don’t worry, though, as several PBA players are already throwing their names into the hat. “It’s very heartwarming because without naming names, we’re getting a lot of volunteers from the PBA players – especially from those who have already played 3x3 here and abroad,” Barrios said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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