CO-SPONSORSHIP SPEECH PSR No. 857: Resolution Congratulating and Commending the Successful Hosting of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup -Senator Joel Villanueva | 06 February 2024 

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Mr. President, distinguished colleagues: It is my honor and privilege to co-sponsor Proposed Senate Resolution No. 857, congratulating ang commending the FIBA Local Organizing Committee, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the private sector, and all government agencies for the successful hosting of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. 

As a basketball player and a huge fan of the game, this Representation couldn’t be prouder and more elated that in 2017, we were selected by FIBA, along with Japan and Indonesia, to host the 2023 Basketball World Cup – the flagship event of the sport’s global governing body and arguably the biggest basketball competition in the world. 

We were the first Asian country to host the FIBA World Championship in 1978 and last year, we are again part of history as this was the first time that the World Cup was staged in three countries. We know that it took years, countless meetings and painstaking planning and organizing to ensure that our hosting is a success. The local organizing committee and the SBP, along with the concerned government agencies and LGUs, ensured that the COVID-19 pandemic would not discourage our preparations for the global event. 

Kaya naman po tayo ay lubos na nagagalak na nagbunga ang hirap at pagod ng bawat isa, at ang ating bansa ay muli na namang nagtala ng kasaysayan — on the opening day of the World Cup held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, the hometown of this representation, we recorded an astonishing 38,115 spectators, the biggest ever in Basketball World Cup attendance, beating the previous record of 32,616 fans that watched the 1994 World Cup final in Canada. Having watched live several of the rest of the games, we were witness to how seamless and organized the entire event was, which made the viewing experience even greater for basketball fans all over the world. 

In addition, Mr. President, the 2023 World Cup recorded more than 20 billion impressions and 480 million engagements across all social media platforms, which is more than triple the numbers achieved in 2019, as well as 4.6 billion total social media video views, four times the record in the last World Cup, making it the biggest and most successful event in FIBA’s history. 

Hence, we would like to congratulate once again the FIBA Local Organizing Committee; the SBP, headed by Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, President Al Panlilio, and of course, its chairman, our dear colleague and friend Senator Sonny Angara; all government agencies and LGUs; the private sector; and volunteers for making our hosting of the 2023 Basketball World Cup an immense success. We also thank the players and the coaching staff for giving their all in representing the country in the tournament. 

In our hosting of the World Cup, we not only displayed our warmth and hospitality in the global stage, we also proved once again that Filipinos are indeed the best basketball fans in the world. 

In closing, Mr. President, we welcome the very good news shared by SBP over the weekend that our kababayan Justin Brownlee has been cleared to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers, which will begin later this month. This is a very welcome development and we would like to congratulate SBP, Mr. Brownlee, and the entire Filipino basketball community who couldn’t wait to watch him play for the country again. 

Mabuhay ang Philippine basketball! Mabuhay ang mga manlalarong Pilipino! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Thank you and may God bless us all.

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