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The Year That Was: 2023 was the year the Filipino fan broke records


The year 2023 stands out as a beacon of revival and triumph for local sports.

Last year marked the first full calendar since the constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic were lifted, and Filipino sports fans wasted no time in making their presence felt, rewriting attendance records across the country’s premier leagues.

PBA’s Grand Opening Act

2022-PBA-Commissioners-Cup-Finals-Game-7-Ginebra-vs-Bay-Area-Philippine-Arena The Year That Was: 2023 was the year the Filipino fan broke records Bandwagon Wire Basketball News PBA PVL UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports newsThe Philippine Basketball Association orchestrated a spectacular kickoff to the year with a riveting Game 7 in the 2022-23 Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

The clash between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Bay Area Dragons captured the imagination, weaving a compelling narrative of the league’s most popular team facing off against a formidable foreign squad from China.

The storyline resonated, drawing a record-breaking crowd of 54,589 fans to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, on January 15.

This attendance figure eclipsed the previous record of 54,086 set on October 27, 2017, signaling an auspicious start for the PBA.

PBA’s Waning Attendance

2023-24-PBA-Commissioners-Cup-Ginebra-vs-Terrafirma-LA-Tenorio-1 The Year That Was: 2023 was the year the Filipino fan broke records Bandwagon Wire Basketball News PBA PVL UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

(C) PBA Images

However, the euphoria proved momentary for the PBA, as subsequent conferences in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup and the ongoing 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup witnessed a decline in attendance.

Even significant moments like the return of LA Tenorio to Ginebra and the retirement of the legendary Asi Taulava failed to draw sizable crowds, prompting introspection within the league.

UAAP and PVL Take the Spotlight

UAAP-Season-86-Mens-Basketball-Finals-Game-3-UP-vs-DLSU-crowd-1 The Year That Was: 2023 was the year the Filipino fan broke records Bandwagon Wire Basketball News PBA PVL UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

(C) Pam Puri/The UAAP

Amid the PBA’s challenges, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the Premier Volleyball League emerged as the torchbearers of excitement in the latter part of the year.

These leagues not only dominated the airwaves but also captured the hearts of fans.

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Even during elimination round games, thousands flocked to witness the action.

And the Finals of the respective leagues proved to be the climax.

Game 3 of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Finals, featuring the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and the De La Salle University Green Archers, set a new record at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with 25,192 fans on December 6, surpassing the previous mark set during Game 3 of the UAAP Season 77 Men’s Basketball Finals.

The PVL continued the trend with Game 2 of the Second All-Filipino Conference Finals between the Creamline Cool Smashers and the Choco Mucho Flying Titans.

This volleyball spectacle, held at the same venue 10 days later, set a Philippine volleyball record with 24,459 fans witnessing the riveting encounter, outshining the previous mark from the UAAP Season 76 Women’s Volleyball Finals.

A Resounding Echo

2023-PVL-2nd-All-Filipino-Conference-Creamline-vs-Choco-Mucho-Game-2-crowd The Year That Was: 2023 was the year the Filipino fan broke records Bandwagon Wire Basketball News PBA PVL UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports newsThe year 2023 showcased not only the undying passion of Filipino sports fans but also the dynamic shifts in their preferences.

While the PBA is in the process of innovating its product, the UAAP and PVL have stepped into the limelight, demonstrating that the future of Philippine sports is as vibrant and diverse as the fans who fuel its spirit.

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