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PLDT, Smart promote camaraderie in sports among nations for FIBA World Cup 2023

The most anticipated global sports event this year!

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The FIBA World Cup is an apex event in basketball and it’s good for Filipinos to see how Gilas can compete with the rest of the world.

As the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 opening day nears, PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) gathered dignitaries and heads of embassies and consulates in the Philippines to promote camaraderie among nations in the most anticipated global sports event this year.

“We are grateful to be able to come together to celebrate the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2023. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we can host the world’s biggest stage in basketball alongside Japan and Indonesia,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT and Smart President and CEO and head of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 local organizing committee.

“The FIBA World Cup goes beyond basketball: it is about the heart and capabilities of all participating countries, and our ability to bring honor to our nations. We are eager to showcase our countrymen’s love for the sport and promote Filipino hospitality, while promoting the sportsmanship and culture of the countries that will play here in the Philippines,” he added.

Dignitaries and special guests representing 25 countries attended the event hosted by PLDT Enterprise in Makati City. The event also served as an opportunity for the Philippine government, represented by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Foreign Affairs Senior Special Assistant Alex Lamadrid, to present the plans of the government to support this global event.
“The Filipinos’ love for basketball is well-known all over the world. That love is evident in all islands across the Philippines because basketball is strongly woven into our cultural fabric. The FIBA World Cup also gives opportunities for Filipinos themselves to show their love for country, because what we will see is a great sense of nationalism in cheering for the Philippine team. This nationalism which will be replicated throughout the citizens of the world whom we are very eager to welcome to the country as we host the World Cup,” said Secretary Frasco.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs, for its part, will continue to pursue and take advantage of the universal appeal of sports in bringing people together, to bridge cultural or social differences, and bring more cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit and development,” said Senior Special Assistant Lamadrid.
Unwavering love for sports
The role of PLDT Chairman and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan is central to the story of how the Philippines came to host the FIBA Basketball World Cup. After losing the bid against China in 2015, Pangilinan, who was then chair of SBP, started to form a multi-country consortium to win against competitor countries. And the rest is history.

“The FIBA World Cup is an apex event in basketball, and it’s good for Filipinos to see how Gilas can compete with the rest of the world. It is the sporting event of the year, and we’ve gotten the full support of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Olympic Committee, and various government agencies as well as the private business sector. We are very thankful for them; we couldn’t have done this without their help. This is truly a national effort,” said Pangilinan.
“The effort of bidding towards the FIBA Basketball World Cup is not only a reflection of MVP’s love for basketball, but more importantly, a reflection of his burning pride and love for country,” Frasco added.
Smart, the only Filipino global partner of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023
Smart is making it so much easier for Filipino basketball fans to stream and catch up on all the FIBA action with Gilas Power 399, a data-packed offer perfect for watching games on the Smart LiveStream App and more.
Fans can also own a piece of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 history with the limited-edition FIBA Basketball World Cup Load Cards featuring some of the country’s best Gilas players.

Soon to be available at the Smart Online Store, select Smart Stores, and accredited retailers nationwide, the iconic and collectible load cards showcase masterpieces from no less than ‘Mr. Hoops’ himself, Pinoy basketball artist and advocate Mike Swift, who made headlines worldwide in 2020 for his massive art tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant at the Tenement Court in Taguig City.
Support the FIBA Basketball World Cup and purchase tickets for the Philippine Arena and the Smart-Araneta Coliseum games via, while tickets for the SM Mall of Asia Arena contests are available via


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