MANILA, Philippines — For Team USA legend Carmelo Anthony, the Philippines hosting the Fiba World Cup 2023 in August is already a big win for the country.
Anthony, who was introduced as the newest Fiba global ambassador on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum, said hosting the prestigious world championship will be a big boost for Philippine basketball.
“Win, lose or draw, yeah I think the Philippines could be proud that they are hosting, one of the hosts in the 2023 Fiba World Cup games,” said Anthony. “I think from that standpoint, that says a lot. And that’s also going to propel the Philippines down the line, when it comes to actually continue in the development of the game of basketball.”
The World Cup will be held at the Big Dome and Mall of Asia Arena as well as in Okinawa, Japan, and in Jakarta, Indonesia from August 25 to September 4.
The Final Phase is set at Philippine Arena from September 5 to 10.
‘SENSE OF PRIDE’
The three-time Olympic gold medalist said being the host country adds more pressure. But his advice to Gilas Pilipinas is just to show its talent to the world.
“It’s a little different, you know when you’re actually hosting the World Cup. You’re the host country and there’s a different pressure that comes along with that,” said Anthony. “But I will say, it’s not even about pressure in this situation, it’s just about allowing the rest of the world to see how the Philippines does it, right? And what they’re actually going out there playing for. A sense of pride that they going out there playing for.”
The 10-time NBA All-Star also looks forward to seeing how passionate Filipino basketball fans are when the country stages the World Cup in August.
“I’ve been seeing and feeling the energy. I’ve been feeling the love and the energy. I could tell that it was a long time coming, me coming to the Philippines. I’m definitely looking forward to going to the match. . I could feel that it has been building up for a long time so there’s a lot of excitement for the World Cup,” he said. “But also personally for myself to be here and get a chance to come to one of my most popular places in the world as far when it comes to my fanbase.”
Anthony is enjoying his first visit to Manila as he strolled in Luneta and Intramuros on Thursday.
The global ambassador also graced the Gilas Pilipinas game against Lebanon at Philippine Arena hours after he was introduced at the Big Dome.
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