HERE’S another good news to Filipino basketball fans all over the country now eagerly awaiting the FIBA World Cup 2023.
Aside from being able to watch world-class games from the world’s leading basketball-playing countries, they will also get the opportunity to see the top prize in international basketball — the Dr. James Naismith Trophy.
FIBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said the Naismith Trophy will be flown to Cebu, Davao, Manila, and Ilocos Norte for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Trophy Tour presented by J9 basketball.
Aside from seeing the solid gold trophy that will be awarded to the winner of the centerpiece basketball competition, Filipino fans will also get the chance to meet Gilas Pilipinas greats who are now serving as ambassadors for the event.
The SBP said the Naismith Trophy will arrive in Cebu City, hotbed of basketball in the Visayas, on Aug 14.
The following day, there will be a tour around the Mactan Shrine, CCLEX, and Fort San Pedro in the morning.
Later, the Naismith Trophy will be in full display at SM Seaside, with former Gilas Pilipinas mainstays Gary David and Jeff Chan accompanying it.
Special performances from the University of Cebu Cheering Team and 2010 Sinulog Idol Grand Winner Jacky Chang are also sure to excite the local fans.
Davao City, the basketball-loving city in Mindano, will be the next stop of the Naismith Trophy on Aug. 18 with stops at the People’s Park, Philippine Eagle Center, and Malagos Chocolate Museum.
David and two-time Asia’s Best Point Guard Jayson Castro will be personally around to join the celebration at the SM Lanang Premier.
The two top players will be joined by Madayaw Cheer Revolution Cheetahs, the dance group Fusion, and Ralph Angelo Merced.
Next up in the Naismith Trophy Tour is Manila on Aug. 19.
The NaismithTrophy will visit all the playing venues of the FIBA World Cup 2023: Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan; Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, and the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Larry Fonacier and other Gilas ambassadors will be joining the event at the SM Mall of Asia Atrium on Aug. 20 where the multi-awarded UP Pep Squad and the gold medalists from the recently-concluded World of Dance Junior Championship Electro Groovers will be performing.
Ilocos Norte will be the last stop of the Naismith Trophy tour, according to the organizers.
The stopovers will be at the EDC Wind Farm, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and Suba Sand Dunes from Aug. 21-23, or two days before the formal opening of the world’s biggest basketball competition..
Robinsons Place Ilocos Norte will be the venue for the mall event on Aug. 23, where Gilas ambassadors will once again accompany the Naismith Trophy.
The Saguday Performing Arts Group and Faifai Flojo, the “Princess Rapper of the North” provide the entertainment numbers.
The FIBA World Cup games will kick off on Aug. 25 with Angola taking on Italy and Gilas Pilipinas battling the Dominican Republic at the Philippine Arena, and Mexico playing Montenegro and Egypt meeting Lithuania at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Fans will be able to witness opening-day games at the Philippine Arena, and succeeding games at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, by availing of tickets via ticketnet.com.ph. or at ticket outlets located at the Yellow Gate of the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Fishermall, Eastwood Mall, SM Aura, SM Fairview, SM Makati, SM Manila, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM San Lazaro, SM Southmall, SM Sta Mesa, SM Mall of Asia, SM Marikina, and Robinsons Department Store Galleria.
Tickets for games at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, on the other hand, are on sale at smtickets.com. or at ticket outlets located at the Coral Box Office of SM Mall of Asia Arena, SM Cinemas at SM Aura, Clark, Bacolod, Davao, Baguio, Grand Central, Cebu, Manila, Batangas, Iloilo, Marilao, Megamall, BF, Lanang, North EDSA, Podium, Cagayan de Oro, Sta Rosa, and Southmall; SM Store Business Center outlets at SM Cubao, Mall of Asia, and Makati; and at the SM Skating and Leisure Center at SM Mall of Asia.