MANILA, Philippines -- FIBA and Smart Communications Inc. formalized its partnership Monday, kicking off the coverage of upcoming FIBA games as the official global brand partner of the World Cup 2023.
Smart is the official global partner of FIBA for the World Cup and is the only telco partner worldwide of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
The World Cup will be jointly hosted by the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan, with the final phase to be held in Manila in August 2023. Games will be held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City and the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
As part of its partnership with FIBA, Smart will give away free tickets to the FIBA Basketball World Cup events and tournament windows scheduled in the Philippines, and stream the games live on its GigaPlay app.
"This partnership is special on so many levels because it has been a long time since the country hosted an international basketball event," said Al Panlilio, Smart president and CEO, who is also president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
"Since the pandemic, an event as massive as this will likely spark hope in the country that things are getting better. And what better way to feel hope than cheering for our own Gilas Pilipinas team right in our homecourt once again," he added.
"We are happy and honored to be able to work closely with FIBA in bringing the game back home to the Philippines."
Gilas Pilipinas will be back in action on February 24-28 at the Big Dome, when they renew their rivalry with South Korea while also facing off against India and New Zealand in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The Philippines play South Korea on February 24 and 28, India on February 25, and New Zealand on February 27.