Philippine basketball icon Jimmy Alapag invited basketball fans to join a parade on Friday, Independence Day at the Araneta Center as part of a collective effort to show support to the country’s 2019 FIBA World Cup bid.
In a press conference Tuesday night, Alapag said the event would be a chance for Filipinos to show their passion when it comes to hoops.
“As you all know, the bid is down to our country and China. Our plan is to invite all of the passionate and basketball-loving fans to a sort of a rally for a chance to be part of a historic event for our country,” the former national team captain said.
“Our country has shown the last few years so FIBA already knows the impact of the game of basketball on our country, and this World Cup bid gives all of us an opportunity to show how big it would be for Philippine sports and the country to have the event on our home soil.”
The Philippines last hosted the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship where the country finished with a silver medal and a ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Previous candidates included Qatar, Turkey, and Germany and France (joint hosting).
Patricia Hizon, Project Lead of the FIBA bid presentation on August, added the target number of people for the parade which shall assemble at the Green Gate of the Smart-Araneta Coliseum is around 2,000 to 3,000.
Gilas Pilipinas players and TV5 celebrities will also be in attendance for the parade while tickets to PBA games will also be given.
“It will show FIBA that the Philippines does deserve the Most Valuable Fan award last 2014 but more than the celebration, we want to be sure we are all aligned and on the same page, rallying behind the battlecry of Puso 2019, as we push forward for the FIBA World Cup bid presentation,” Hizon said.
By 2:30 pm on Friday the parade is expected to begin.
“We are hoping everyone to come out. When it comes to basketball, libo-libo naman ang lalabas and we are prepared for that number.”
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