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FIBA WC backstops to be used in Gilas-Chinese Taipei battle in PhilSports Arena

The PhilSports Arena will host the Gilas-Chinese Taipei game. PBA Images (file photo) 
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Expect some FIBA World Cup and even some old-school PBA feels at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig as the venue will host the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers February window game between Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese Taipei on Sunday night.

According to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Erika Dy, the backstops that were used during the FIBA World Cup that were donated to the Philippine Sports Commission for PhilSports Arena use will be utilized again.

"We worked a lot with the Philippine Sports Commission, and this was one of the practice venues, so it was improved a bit. And we wanted to take advantage of it. In fact, the backstops that we would be using are the World Cup backstops that were donated to the PSC after the event," Dy said.

She also said that the SBP looks to give the crowd in attendance an atmosphere reminiscent of what it was like back in the mid-'80s to the early '90s when the PhilSports Arena was the primary battleground for the PBA then.

"We also know that PhilSports, formerly ULTRA, is a historic site for basketball games in the Philippines. This is where we used to hold the old PBA games, and we sort of wanted to bring back that kind of culture in Philippine basketball," Dy further said.

The PhilSports Arena saw great PBA moments during the late '80s like the rise of Great Taste, Robert Jaworski's surprise in-game return after a busted lip that sparked Ginebra's "never-say-die" movement that still runs until today, Jaworski finally making amends with Mon Fernandez during the 1989 All-Star Game, and mainly more parity in the league that showed the teams back then becoming more competitive, setting up the first part of the league's glory days.

The PBA made its return to the PhilSports Arena in 1999 in time for the league's 25th season, and the venue has been used as one of the league's Mega Manila battlegrounds up to now.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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