The FIBA Basketball World Cup’s final phase has been moved from the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, to the Mall of Asia Arena, announced the FIBA Central Board on Friday, April 28. They reached a final decision after careful deliberation regarding the standards necessary to enhance the overall experience of both the players and fans alike.
“Despite improvements tested with transport and traffic engineers, the Board came to the conclusion that an event with multiple sessions in one day like the Final Phase of the World Cup couldn’t be delivered to the standards required for the players and fans experience,” said FIBA in a statement.
As a result of the change, Gilas Pilipinas will now play its first two games at the Philippine Arena before playing the remainder at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The FIBA Central Board cited “serious traffic and transport concerns” despite the toll road construction connecting Metro Manila to the Philippine Arena. The primary concern was the requirement to provide consistent and swift transfer of the teams and fans to multiple games over the six days of the Final Phase.
“The main concern leading to the decision was the requirement to provide consistent and swift transfer of the teams and fans to multiple games over the six days of the Final Phase. Despite completing the construction of a toll road connecting Metro Manila with the Philippines Arena in 2021, it could only be tested in real conditions since November 2022, after COVID restrictions were lifted,” added the FIBA Central Board statement.
The FIBA Central Board’s decision to relocate the final phase to the Mall of Asia Arena considered the players and fans’ experience. Despite the Philippine Arena’s capacity of 55,000, the board decided that a more convenient location for the final phase was necessary to guarantee the consistency of the event’s quality.
Gilas Pilipinas previously split their matches during FIBA World Cup Asian sixth and final window qualifier at the Philippine Arena. They routed Lebanon, 107-96, before suffering a narrow 90-91 loss to Jordan last February in the final pair of games.
Although the venue change may surprise some, the FIBA Central Board reiterated the significance of ensuring the utmost satisfaction and experience for everyone involved in the event.
The FIBA Central Board decided on the venue change after carefully considering multiple factors, including traffic and transport, to ensure a smooth and successful FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 final phase.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup will be in August, and basketball fans can look forward to seeing the best players worldwide compete in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. reiterated his support for the country’s hosting of the FIBA World Cup 2023 during a courtesy call of the FIBA Central Board and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executives in Malacañang Palace also held on Friday, April 28.
FIBA global ambassadors Yao Ming and Dirk Nowitzki joined the FIBA Central Board and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Philippine Olympic Committee officials during the courtesy call.
The country’s leader has long recognized the role of sports in fostering social progress and has voiced his enthusiasm for backing FIBA’s initiatives. He underscored the importance of the FIBA World Cup’s return to the Philippines. He expressed his gratitude to FIBA officials, SBP Chairman Emeritus, and FIBA member Manuel Pangilinan for their tireless efforts in making the tournament a reality.