Let the FIBA World Cup games begin

August 24, 2023 Robert Andaya 218 views

THE Jordan Clarkson-led Gilas Pilipinas will have the entire nation — and the expected record opening-day crowd — on its corner when it opens its campaign in the FIBA World Cup 2023 against heavyweight Dominican Republic at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The much-awaited 8 p.m.encounter pitting Clarkson, the former NBA“Sixth Man of the Year” awardee from the Utah Jazz and Karl Anthony Towns, the three-time NBA All-Star from the Minnesota Timberwolves, will just be one of the many highlights on a long and busy day of basketball.

Before the Philippines-Dominican Republ8c showdown, there’s the exciting opening-day salvo pitting world No. 10 Italy against world No. 42 Angola at 4 p.m.

The 6 p.m. opening ceremony immediately following the Italy-Angola match will feature well-known Filipino performers Sarah Geronimo,the Dawn and Ben &Ben.

The country’s No. 1 sportsman, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. Is expected to take center stage during the opening ceremonies.

Marcos’ father, the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., also did the opening ceremonies in 1978 when the country first hosted the games.

Then, the Philippines and Dominican Republic will take the floor at 8 .m.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), headed by Al Panlilio, is hoping to set a new record for a FIBA game.

The current record is at 32,616 when the United States defeated Russia for the 1994 FIBA World Cup title at the Skydome in Toronto.

Over at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Mexico will battle Montenegro at 4:45 p.m. and Egypt will play Lithuania at 8:30 p.m. also Friday.

Two games will be played at the Okinawa Arena in Japan pitting Finland against Australia and Germany against Japan.

Two games will also kick off hostilities at the Jakarta Arena in Indonesia pitting Latvia against Lebanon and Canada against France.

A total of 32 teams are seeing action in this edition of the FIBA World Cup to be played in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

Group A is composed of the Philippines, Angola, Dominican Republic, and Italy, while Group B consists of China, Puerto Rico, Serbia, and South Sudan.

All of their games will be played at the Araneta Coliseum outside of the opening day.

Group C comprises the United States, Jordan, Greece, and New Zealand, while Group D is made up of Egypt, Mexico, Montenegro, and Lithuania.

Their games will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Games Friday:

(Philippine Arena)
4 p.m. — Italy vs. Angola
6 p.m. Opening ceremony
8 p.m. — Philippines vs. Dominican Republic