Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, FIBA, and SBP executives pay a courtesy call on President Bongbong Marcos at Palace6 min read
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has expressed his excitement for the Philippines’ hosting of the 2023 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Basketball World Cup (FBWC 2023) this August.
On Friday, April 28, the FIBA Central Board and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) members paid a courtesy call to Malacañang Palace. During the meeting, the President affirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to support the event.
Reflecting on the historical FIBA event in 1978, President Marcos took a moment to remember his late father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who threw the ball during the game. This marked the first time such an event had occurred in the Philippines. According to a release from the Presidential Communications Office, the president said: “I was there when my father first tossed the ball, and I’m quite pleased to be able to… reenact what my father did in 1978.”
The President has always considered sports an important part of the country’s social development and expressed happiness in supporting FIBA’s endeavors. He emphasized the significance of FIBA’s return to the Philippines for the World Cup. He thanked FIBA executives, SBP Chairman Emeritus, and FIBA member Manuel Pangilinan for their hard work in making the event possible.
FIBA ambassadors Dirk Nowitzki and Yao Ming joined the FIBA Central Board and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Philippine Olympic Committee officials during the call at the President’s Hall in Malacañang Palace on Friday.
Marcos assured, “If there’s one thing I can guarantee all of the Central Board members here in the Philippines is that you are going to have a very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, loud, passionate crowd every single day.”
President Marcos also acknowledged sports’ positive impact on young people, particularly basketball. He stated that sports activities have no downside and are beneficial for discipline, health, camaraderie, and good sportsmanship.
Marcos shared his enthusiasm for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup in the Philippines, saying that Filipinos eagerly look forward to watching the world’s top basketball players compete live in the country.
He noted that basketball is a beloved sport in the Philippines, with kids playing it and people watching it on TV more than any other game.
“As I am sure you know that in the Philippines, still, the most popular game that kids play and that people watch on TV is basketball… It will be such a great pleasure for Filipinos to watch all of these. All of these champions come now to the Philippines to play basketball,” the President added.
Established in 1932 and headquartered in Switzerland, FIBA is an organization that governs basketball competitions worldwide, consisting of national associations. The world governing body of basketball plays a critical role in developing and amendment official basketball regulations, sets standards for basketball equipment and facilities, and oversees regulations for international and Olympic games. FIBA also regulates the transfer of players across different countries.
The FBWC 2023 is the first time multiple Asian nations, including the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, will host the event. The SBP is the FBWC 2023’s local organizing committee.
As basketball is immensely popular in the Philippines, President Marcos predicted the event’s success. The Philippines’ second hosting of the FBWC will undoubtedly be a momentous occasion for the country’s basketball community and an opportunity to showcase the nation’s passion for the sport.