World sports

FACT CHECK: FIBA was founded in 1932, not 1960

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FACT CHECK: FIBA was founded in 1932, not 1960
FIBA was founded on June 18, 1932. Before its recent victory over Latvia on July 3 (July 4 in Manila), the Philippines last won against a European team in 1960, beating Spain.

Claim:  The International Basketball Federation (in French, Fédération Internationale de Basketball or FIBA), was founded in 1960. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim can be found in a July 4 post shared on the Facebook account of Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

The post says: “Grabe ang Gilas tinalo ang Latvia, no. 6 sa world (Gilas is so great, they defeated Latvia, no. 6 in the world) at their homecourt 89-80 in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Riga, Latvia. Since FIBA was established in 1960, this is the 1st time that we beat a European team! So proud! Proud! Proud! Proud!”

The post was made following Gilas Pilipinas’ stunning upset over No. 6 ranked basketball team Latvia in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament on July 3 (July 4 in Manila), with a score of 89-80. 

As of writing, the post has 1,600 reactions, 77 comments, and 16 shares. 

The facts: FIBA was not established in 1960. It was founded in Geneva, Switzerland on June 18, 1932, with the original name Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur. In 1989, its name became Fédération Internationale de Basketball, while retaining the acronym FIBA.

Moreover, the claim that Gilas Pilipinas’ win over Latvia was the first time that the Philippines defeated a European team in a FIBA competition is false. The Philippines last won against a European team in the 1960 Summer Olympic Games basketball tournament for men, where the Philippines defeated Spain, 84-82. Gilas’ win ended a 64-year period of no Philippine victories against European teams in FIBA competition. (READ: ‘What we’ve always wanted’: Cone says Gilas Pilipinas stunner vs Latvia huge for PH hoops)

The Philippines is making its bid to return to the Olympic stage after more than five decades through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia.

On Thursday, July 4, Gilas Pilipinas clinched second place in Group A after narrowly falling to Georgia with a score of 96-94. Despite the loss, the Philippine team is bound for the semifinals facing Brazil on Saturday, July 6, at 8:30 pm, Manila time.


Previous fact-checks: Rappler has fact-checked sports-related claims before. Here are some articles published in 2024:

– Percival Bueser/ 

Percival Bueser is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

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