Filipino crowd in Beirut Gilas Pilipinas vs Lebanon

FILE – Filipinos cheer for Gilas Pilipinas during a game against Lebanon. Photo by Fiba

MANILA, Philippines—Back in the 1994 Fiba World Championship, history was made in Toronto, Canada when Team USA  defeated Russia, 137-91, in front of a record crowd of 32,616.

The game, which featured NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Dominique Wilkins and Shawn Kemp to name a few, was also the most lopsided championship in World Cup history.

Twenty-nine years later, the Philippines will attempt to shatter the attendance mark when it hosts the Fiba World Cup beginning August 25 at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan–a venue that when filled to the brim can accommodate 55,000 people.

Gilas will aim to break the record when it kicks off its campaign against the Dominican Republic at 8 p.m.

“What we would like to do is to break the record of 32,000-plus attendance in a FIBA game,” SBP president Al Panlilio said during a Senate presentation late last year. “If we play at the Philippine Arena, we’ll definitely go for that record.”

Gilas will only have one shot of making history as their game against the Dominican Republic and the 4 p.m. clash between Angola Italy are the only games scheduled at Philippine Arena for the duration of the World Cup.

The Philippine Arena holds the PBA record crowd of 54,589 when Barangay Ginebra beat the Bay Area Dragons in Game 7 of the Commissioner’s Cup.

To help make this happen, the FIBAWC Local Organizing Committee, specifically for the August 25 inaugural games, is rolling out the Independence Day Ticket Promo Package which covers the five days from June 12(from 12 a.m.) to June 16 (11:59 p.m.), with tickets available for purchase online at: https://philippines-ticketing.worldcup.basketball/.

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