Gilas Pilipinas has thousands of fans who came to show their support. Here are the stars who were part of the loud and proud crowds.
The FIBA World Cup only takes place every four years, already making it a once-in-a-lifetime competition for some, whether you’re representing your country or cheering your players on. But, it is even more of a rarity to be playing the World Cup at home, which is something that Gilas Pilipinas got the unique opportunity to do in this year’s edition.
Filipino basketball fans (we know how die-hard we can all be when it comes to this sport) had to make sure to make the most out of this opportunity. With, along with the thousands of fans who crowded our home stadiums, many stars came out to show their support.
Here are a few that we spotted cheering on Gilas!
Dirk Nowitzki is a FIBA legend. The German basketball player is widely thought to be one of, if not the greatest European player of all time, as a former NBA Champion, NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA All-Star, and FIBA World Cup Top Scorer, among his many recognitions.
It isn’t every day that Gilas Pilipinas gets to play in front of a basketball star, and although, as a FIBA World Cup Ambassador and FIBA Central Board Member, he was probably after the action rather than the outcome, his presence at the home team’s games showed his support for the hosting of this historic event.
Young JV and Gerald Anderson
In the VIP section to watch the 2023 FIBA World Cup Opening Ceremony at the Philippine Arena, we spotted two Filipino stars cheering Gilas Pilipinas on: Music artist Young JV and actor Gerald Anderson. While Gilas did not have the opening day they would have hoped for, facing a loss to the Dominican Republic (you can relive the emotional rollercoaster through Gerald’s expression), their support surely meant a lot nonetheless.
This also was not the only game that Gerald Anderson attended. He was also spotted watching the showdown between Team USA and Greece.
Sam Milby, Catriona Gray, Maja Salvador, and Rambo Nuñez
Young JV and Gerald Anderson got to enjoy the action of the FIBA World Cup sitting alongside a reputable row of spectators. Next to Gerald was the star couple, Sam Milby and FIBA World Cup Ambassador, Catriona Gray. But they were not the only couple in attendance.
Maja Salvador and Rambo Nuñez also made the road trip to Bulacan to watch Gilas in action, just a few weeks after their beautiful wedding and romantic honeymoon in Italy.
Big Boy Cheng
Of course, familiar faces in the basketball industry had to be there to witness the FIBA World Cup in the flesh, and we spotted none other than popular sneaker collector, Big Boy Cheng. And of course, he had to show up repping Gilas.
Over the last few months leading up to the official tip-off of the World Cup, Big Boy Cheng has been sporting Secret Fresh’s line of Gilas merch, as seen on his social media pages. And we’re happy it finally got airtime on the big stage in the Philippine Arena!
Jordan Clarkson representing the Philippines at the 2023 FIBA World Cup was a huge deal, especially for the many die-hard Filipino basketball fans. And getting to play on their home courts made the deal even sweeter. Naturally, Jordan’s brother, Bear Clarkson, had to be there in the flesh to support the entire squad.
And of course, Bear just had to show up in Jordan Clarkson merch. We love the brotherly support.
Alyssa Loyzaga Gibbs
Filipina designer and Nike endorser Alyssa “Chi” Loyzaga Gibbs, along with her boyfriend Anton Cruz, went to see Gilas Pilipinas play at the World Cup. This year’s tournament definitely must have meant a lot to her, especially as the games come right after her grandfather, Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga’s FIBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Alyssa’s other family members, including her sister Gabriella and her mother Bing, were also in attendance to see the Gilas games.
Caloy Loyzaga was a FIBA World Cup medalist himself, having helped the Philippine National Team win the bronze medal in the 1954 tournament.
Kim Kianna Dy
As an athlete herself, volleyball star Kim Kianna Dy knows what it’s like to compete in a high-stakes tournament — it isn’t easy. And so, she made sure to watch Gilas Pilipinas’ games live to cheer on her boyfriend, Dwight Ramos, even repping his jersey.
Who else did you spot when you watched Gilas Pilipinas at the World Cup?
Images by Vyn Radovan.