Mr. President, I would like to manifest my full support for the adoption of Senate Resolution No. 857 congratulating the FIBA local organizing committee, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the private sector and all government agencies and local government units involved for the Philippines’ successful co-hosting of the FIBA Basketball World Cup last year.
For the second time in 45 years, passionate Filipinos showed how basketball mania has really swept our nation—we set a FIBA single-game turnout of 38,115 basketball-loving fans to show support to Gilas Pilipinas cagers as they open their World Cup campaign against Dominican Republic, eclipsing a previous tally of 32,616 who showed up during the 1994 World Cup finals in Toronto where Shaquille O’Neal-led Team USA bagged the gold medal against Russia.
Despite Gilas Pilipinas winning only a handful of games, Filipino fans showed their love for the game by supporting other teams in various matches.
It is really an honor and privilege for us to be given this rare and historic opportunity to co-host the world’s most popular indoor sports, and it is befitting to commend those behind this as we showed how basketball has become engrained in our culture.
May mga alam nga tayong mga pamilya na ipinapangalan pa ang kanilang mga anak sa mga sikat na basketbolista—ilan lang diyan, mula sa homegrown talent Robert Jaworski, hanggang kina Jordan, Lebron at Kobe. ‘Di rin ligtas ang mga alagang hayop sa basketball fever ng mga Pinoy.
Dahil sa ipinamalas nating suporta noong nagdaang FIBA basketball World Cup, mismong mga opisyal ng FIBA, players at coaches ang nagpasalamat at nagsabing mahirap makahanap ng klase ng serbisyong ating ipinakita sa buong mundo.
Thank you, Mr. President and dear colleagues.