MANILA - Players in a charity basketball marathon in Manila broke the world record for the longest game of basketball on Saturday (March 29) after shooting hoops non-stop for five days.
Two teams, each with 12 players, set the new record at 120 hours, one minute and seven seconds. By playing under strict conditions since Monday (March 24) they beat the previous record of 112 hours and 13 seconds which was held by the Missouri Athletics Club in the United States.
Each team in Manila had to have 10 players on the court at all times. Players could not leave the court and could only rest on the bleachers alongside the court during periods of substitution. They also had to remain competitive and not show any signs of fatigue during play. Coaches advised the teams to work on a two-hour rotation, alternating the players on the court in order to maximize their physical condition.
The players endured five days of intense physical and mental challenges, but after the final whistle was blown marathon player Justo Quita said the pain was worth it.
"We went through so much, the hardships, the stress, the pain and the emotional strain mixing together. But when we saw the clock reaching 120 hours, the pain vanished. We're so happy," he said.
Among the 24 players were three past record holders from the Missouri Athletics Club who joined the record attempt for charitable reasons.
"I researched a little bit about what was going on with Typhoon Yolanda and the tragedies, and I learned that there were families and children, thousands and thousands left homeless. I had experience in the world record basketball game, I knew it was tough but I also knew this was a great cause. So to me this one was about, it was about kids having needs," aid Jeffrey Moore, who is also leading another charity event in the United States for victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
A Guinness World Records adjudicator awarded the title to the teams in Manila after evaluating the extensive footage and documents when they exceeded the 112 hour mark early morning on Saturday.
"I can therefore confirm that the time achieved is 120 hours, one minute and seven seconds. It's a new Guinness World Record title," she said, as the players cheered and cries of "long live the Philippines" rang out from the crowd.
Organiser and Asian Cable Enterprises Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Ruby said the biggest achievement was being able to generate funds for the victims of the typhoon.
"It doesn't stop here, getting funds for these communities goes on," he said.
Part of the aim of the basketball marathon was to raise funds through crowd sourcing for a charitable organization responsible for building houses for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines. Organisers estimated at least three million pesos (67000 USD) worth of pledges and support had been raised by this event.