Andreas Zagklis commends PH for 'excellent' FIBA WC hosting

The Philippines has done a remarkable job in the FIBA World Cup hosting according to FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis. Kennelf Monteza (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—As the 2023 FIBA World Cup comes to an end on Sunday, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis congratulated the Philippine local organizing committee for doing a great job in making the event possible.

"Manila has been an excellent host. I don't think it's easy to find anywhere else in the world with this level of service to the visitors," Zagklis said during the wrap-up press conference at the SM Mall of Asia Arena minutes before the start of the medal games.

One thing Zagklis praised was the hospitality of the Filipinos who were tasked with their respective jobs during the tournament and its preceding build-up.

"[They are] always with a smile, kindness, and solution-oriented approach. I can only express how grateful FIBA is to the Philippines from the top of the government—the head of state (President Bongbong Marcos) received us a few months ago, and he came to our opening game—to the volunteers that take care of you and us in the venues and our hotels. We're grateful to them," he further said.

One concern for Zagklis, however, was the ticket prices imposed for the Philippine games of the FIBA World Cup.

While he said that FIBA also had a say in the ticket prices, he conceded to the fact that the tickets were indeed too expensive, leading to low gate attendance in games not involving either Gilas Pilipinas or Team USA.

"In some categories (audience sections), it (ticket selling) was not successful. I can say that. This is one of the major debriefing points we'll have," Zagklis said, particularly pointing to Categories 2 and 3, which are located in the lower box sections of the MOA Arena and Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Once everything culminates at the MOA Arena, the countdown is officially on for the 2027 edition in Doha, and Zagklis said that early plans are ongoing for the said city's hosting and the betterment of basketball in the Middle East ahead of the first FIBA World Cup in the said area.

"I believe the initiatives are coming one after the other," Zagklis said, citing the success of the new West Asia Super League.

He added, "I'm optimistic that going into this new market for us will also expand our footprint, but most importantly, that is our job: develop basketball in that part of the world even more."

Doha and Qatar in general will have a lot to do to at least match the Philippines' impressive hosting.

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