SBP eyes FIBA attendance record on opening day at PH Arena


Posted at Jun 09 2023 10:40 PM

Ariya Kurniawan/file
The members of Gilas Pilipinas celebrate after winning the men's basketball finals at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ariya Kurniawan/file

With an eye at breaking the FIBA all-time attendance record, all roads will lead to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on August 25 when Gilas Pilipinas makes its first appearance in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup against the Dominican Republic.

While a huge hometown crowd is a sure bet, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, led by its president Al Panlilio, is nonetheless calling on all basketball-loving Filipinos to arrive in droves and try and fill up the mammoth 55,000-capacity venue with the goal of setting a new FIBA gate record, a historic milestone the Philippines, as lead co-host of FIBA’s pinnacle event, has only one shot at achieving.

Gametime is set at 8 p.m. after the Group A inaugural match between FIBA Africa’s Angola and European qualifier Italy at 4 p.m., the only games scheduled at the Philippine Arena for the duration of the FIBAWC.

The magic number to pass is 32,616, majority of which the United States Dream Team II, made up of NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Dominique Wilkins, Shawn Kemp and Alonzo Mourning, among others, drew in the Final of the 1994 FIBA World Championship in Toronto, Canada where the Americans routed Russia 137-91 in the most lopsided championship in World Cup history.

“What we would like to do is to break the record of 32,000-plus attendance in a FIBA game,” Panlilio said during a Senate presentation late last year. “If we play at the Philippine Arena, we’ll definitely go for that record.”

To help make this happen, the FIBAWC Local Organizing Committee, specifically for the August 25 inaugural games, is rolling out the Independence Day Ticket Promo Package which covers the five days from June 12(from 12 a.m.) to June 16 (unt11:59 p.m.), with tickets available for purchase online at:

Promo Mechanics are as follows:

  • For every purchase of the Gilas Independence Day World Cup Promo package which includes 5 (five) Day Passes, the customer will get the 5th Day Pass for free. This is equivalent to 20% savings.
  • This package is only applicable to the following ticket categories:
  • Category 4 Upper Box - Aug 25, 2023 Philippine Arena FIBA World Cup 2023 Games
  • Category 5 General Admission - Aug 25, 2023 Philippine Arena FIBA World Cup 2023 Games
  • A customer can purchase as many packages as he wants.
  • Package and seating is only in groups of 5 (five).

Customers will receive an email confirmation for the successful transaction. Those who purchased Category 4 Upper Box of this package will be notified in a separate email for their seat allocation in July.

Surpassing the number of spectators who attended that Toronto game 29 years ago isn’t as far-fetched an objective as it seems. After all, an unbelievable crowd of 54,086 witnessed Game Seven of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco, figures that could last for ages at FIBA if they are reached on Opening Day.