The Smart Araneta Coliseum is ready and raring to not only serve as game venue, but also as the command center for the coming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
“This FIBA World Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the Philippines and Filipinos. It’s in the same league as the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and Super Bowl. Adding this event to the already-prestigious list that Smart Araneta Coliseum holds will most definitely make ‘The Big Dome’ the grand dame of sporting events,” said FIBA Local Organizing Committee (LOC) venue manager for the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mike Verano.
The ‘Big Dome’ will be the setting for battles that will be waged by Group A (Gilas Pilipinas, Angola, Dominican Republic, Italy) and B (South Sudan, China, Serbia, Puerto Rico) from Aug. 26 to Sep. 3. Afterwards, its center court will also see tip-off for the second group phase before the world meet moves to the SM Mall of Asia Arena for the semifinal and final stages.
In preparation, the historic coliseum in Quezon City has been revitalized and modernized for FIBA standards, beginning, of course, with its hardcourt, backboards, rims, scoreboard, and shot and game clocks. Team dugouts and the mezzanine level were also given a facelift, as a bridge connecting to neighboring Novotel Hotel was also constructed.
As the game venue for Gilas Pilipinas, the Smart Araneta Coliseum is expected to be jam-packed for most of the world meet, with Filipino fans hyped up to give their national team enviable homecourt advantage.
“The LOC has been conducting numerous alignment exercises with the Quezon City LGU, PNP, military, and other government agencies in order to assure the public, FIBA, and most of all, all international delegates that their safety and security are the most important aspects of the FIBA World Cup 2023,” said Verano.
Make no mistake, however, Filipino fans are also determined to show love to other national teams, as they eagerly await watching the likes of Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns and Atlanta Hawks super sub Bogdan Bogdanovic in person.
“The FIBA LOC is doing its best to guarantee that Filipino hospitality will be remembered and talked about for years to come, making our guests want to return as quickly as possible,” said Verano.
The Smart Araneta Coliseum also hosted the Draw Ceremony back in April. In light of the success of the event, FIBA determined that it and the Novotel Hotel will be the central nervous system for all World Cup 2023 operations, including those at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Okinawa Arena in Japan, and Indonesia Arena in Jakarta.
Fans can take part in making history with big games at the ‘Big Dome’ by availing of tickets via ticketnet.com.ph.
Tickets for games at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, on the other hand, are on sale at smtickets.com.