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All eyes are set on the Opening of the FIBA World Cup 2023

By: AC Bautista

Photos from ABS-CBN Sports (news.abs-cbn.com)

The FIBA World Cup 2023 kicks off today in three cities in Asia: Manila, Jakarta, and Okinawa. After 45 years, the Philippines is the main host for the year’s biggest basketball event, with some of the brightest basketball stars facing each other in one hardcourt.


The Philippine Arena in Bulacan served as the venue for the opening ceremonies of the FIBA World Cup. Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo also dominated the center stage together with local bands The Dawn and Ben&Ben.


In Group A, the Philippines battles Angola, the Dominican Republic, and Italy. China, Puerto Rico, Serbia, and South Sudan square off in Group B. The United States, a strong contender for this tournament with its NBA-loaded lineup, Greece, Jordan, and New Zealand are in Group C. Group D on the other hand consists of Egypt, Lithuania, Mexico, and Montenegro.


Aside from the opening games of Group A and B, all other matches will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. The games of Groups C and D will be played at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.


The first round of the group phase is from August 25 to August 30. The second round is from August 31 to September 3, with the top two teams from each group fighting for the quarter-final spot. There will be a break on September 4 to give way to the teams flying from Okinawa and Jakarta for the final phase at the MOA Arena. The final phase starts on September 5, with the finals set on September 10.


Italy pulled through a huge Angola scare, overcoming them with a score of 87-61 as they opened the games for Group A. Simone Fontecchio paved the way for Italy, ending the game with 19 points and five rebounds.


Conquering the second half, Montenegro defeated the Mexicans, 91-71 for a strong start for Group D at the MOA Arena. Montenegro star player, Nikola Vucevic, who also plays for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA finished the match with 27 points and 10 rebounds.


The FIBA attendance record was shattered in the game between the Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas and the Dominican Republic. The crowd reached 38,115 in the Philippine Arena as Filipino fans did not disappoint. Gilas then loses a heartbreaker to the Dominican Republic, 87-81 after Lester Quiñones made his free throw in the final seconds. Dominican Republic’s Karl Anthony-Towns led his team with 26 points and 10 rebounds.


Lithuania dominated Egypt in the MOA Arena, as Tomas Dimsa made a 3-pointer. With a score of 93-67, Lithuania secured their first win in the World Cup. Lithuania’s Margiris Normantas was the team’s top performer, with 18 points and one rebound.


Tickets are available at ticketnet.com.ph for games in the Philippine Arena and Smart Araneta Coliseum. Games held at the MOA Arena are available at smtickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the venues.


For games in the Smart Araneta Coliseum, tickets range from ₱499 to ₱27,299 from August 26 to 30. Tickets for games in the MOA Arena range from ₱499 to ₱19,199.


In partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the FIBA local organizing committee is giving discounts to students and teachers for select games in the World Cup. These discounts will only apply to seats in the premium upper box, regular upper box, and general admission sections.





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