Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, along with officials of FIBA, enjoyed a festive mood when they officially unveiled the Tissot Countdown Clock at the Mall of Asia Music Hall, Saturday night, Aug. 27, with a year to go before the FIBA 2023 World Cup

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Chairman for Local Organizing Committee Manny V. Pangilinan (third from the right), together with (from the left) Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio, FIBA World Cup ambassador Catriona Gray, FIBA President Hamane Niang, FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Chairman for Joint Committee Richard Carrion, and Tissot representative Denise Dy, leads the activation of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Tissot Clock Countdown at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022.(Noel Pabalate)

SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 chairman Richard Carrion, SBP president Al S. Panlilio, FIBA president Hamane Niang, World Cup 2023 ambassador Catriona Gray, and Tissot representative Denise Dy led the ceremonial pressing of the basketball button which lit up the clock, accompanied by a spectacle of fireworks, multi-visual effects along with performances that paid tribute to the culture of the three host countries Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The event also drums up the return of the global showpiece to the country since the 1978 world basketball championship.

For Panlilio, the unveiling of the countdown clock was a realization of the SBP’s dream four years ago when the country made its bid to become the basketball hotbed where some of the biggest stars of the sport collide for the prestigious James Naismith trophy next year.

“We’ve been dreaming about this since we won the hosting on December 8, 2017, when we were in Mies, Switzerland, that was almost four years ago. Here we are, 363 days to go, and we still have plenty of work to do,” Panlilio told members of the press after the event.

The clock also serves as a reminder for SBP and the ocal organizing committee of their goal of ensuring the best experience for the visiting countries when the country hosts 20 games in the group phase of the tournament that will be played out in the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Mall of Asia Arena and 12 more knockout games at the Philippine Arena.

“We have a lot of work to do in making sure that we’re able to host the best World Cup we can,” Panlilio said. “We’ll never beat China in facilities, but experience is very important on and off the court.”

“With the help of all Filipinos showcasing really what Filipino hospitality is all about, we’d like to share the culture of the Philippines to the world.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (