FIBA World Cup

Another Marcos welcomes FIBA World Cup to the Philippines

Bea Cupin

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Another Marcos welcomes FIBA World Cup to the Philippines

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets the Gilas Pilipinas at the halftime of one of the opening games of FIBA World Cup 2023 in the The Philippine Arena, in Bocaue, Bulacan on Friday August 25.

PNA Photo

The last time the Philippines hosted the world's best in basketball, the country was still under martial law

MANILA, Philippines – Forty-five years after basketball-crazy Philippines first hosted the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup, it was another Ferdinand Marcos who formally welcomed and kicked off the basketball tourney featuring the world’s best. 

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attended the opening day of the games, catching the first match of Gilas Pilipinas against Dominican Republic, on Friday, August 25, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan province. 

The last time the Philippines hosted the FIBA Basketball World Cup – then known as the FIBA World Championship – was in 1978, when the current president’s father and namesake, the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, was still in power. At that point, the Philippines had been under martial law for over six years.

The elder Marcos then tossed the ball during the opening game – an event Marcos Jr. himself witnessed. 

“I’m happy that I will be there for the time that it will… the FIBA events will return… World Cup now, will return to the Philippines. So, it would be an honor for me to reenact perhaps, reenact what my father did in 1978,” the president said in late April 2023, when members of the FIBA Central Board and delegates from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) visited Malacañang Palace. 

Reenacting or replicating photo-ops and events by his father and namesake has been a recurring event under Marcos Jr. 

The FIBA Basketball World Cup is jointly hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, with most of the games in the Philippine to held in the Mall of Asia Arena and the Araneta Coliseum. Games begin on August 25 and end on September 10. 

Marcos suspended public school classes and government work in Metro Manila and Bulacan on August 25 in support of the FIBA World Cup. –

GAME SCHEDULE: FIBA World Cup 2023 finals

GAME SCHEDULE: FIBA World Cup 2023 finals

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.