The 2023 FIBA World Cup has come to an end, and from the Philippines’ hosting of the event to the results that came forth, it was nothing short of historic.
That’s a wrap!
The Philippines’ historic hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup has come to a conclusion. And it was a great one! From breaking the single-game attendance record to hosting the rest of the world on our shores for two straight weeks in the name of basketball, it was indeed one experience that many people will remember forever!
Speaking of things that will be remembered, here is an oversimplified summary of what went down in the course of the tournament.
Germany takes home their first-ever Naismith trophy
Germany was not among the favorites to win it all, as they entered the tournament seeded at #11, they were not the team with the most NBA players, and they were not the tallest team. There were a lot of things that Germany was not, but to the proud team representing Deutschland, it mattered not.
It seems to me that Oktoberfest will start in Germany one month early!
Dennis Schröder is named tournament MVP
Along with Germany’s World Champions’ trophy, Dennis Schröder was also named the tournament MVP — deservedly so. Schröder led a very determined German team the entire tournament with his brilliant guard play. Always seemingly knowing what to do at crucial moments of each of their games, he made the right calls that ultimately led them to sweet victory.
Serbia bags silver, Canda Bronze
Two other countries that played brilliantly were Serbia and Canada. Both countries made an excellent accounting of themselves and showed the world and fans in Manila some beautiful, high-quality basketball.
While the Serbians were heartbroken not to have won it all as they fell to Germany, the Canadians can be happy with this, their first finish ever at 3rd in the tournament.
The USA did not finish on the podium for the 2nd World Cup in a row
While fourth place is an improvement from their seventh-place finish in 2019, the USA still fell short of their goal and expectations. You see, the USA has been so dominant in this sport that anytime they choose to send a delegation at all, the expectation for them is to win gold.
“This is not 1992 anymore,” says USA head Coach Steve Kerr. What he, of course, was alluding to is the fact that the game has grown globally.
Once upon a time, people were saying that “the world is catching up” but I think the results indicate that the world, in fact, has already caught up.
The Philippines finished 24th
While the Philippines may have failed to qualify outright for the Olympics, the FIBA World Cup hosts did just enough to qualify for a slot in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Jordan Clarkson’s crazy explosion from three-point land not only won us the game against neighboring rival China in Gilas Pilipinas’ final game of the competition, but it also did enough to move us up in the rankings thanks to the quotient system implemented by FIBA in determining each country’s performance.
But apart from the Philippines’ performance at the World Cup, the country’s hosting was also superb. While hosting duties were shared with Japan and Indonesia, the Philippines was the main host for this quadrennial event.
Everyone I spoke to had fun and experienced what a great basketball-loving country ours is. Some are even saying that they’ll definitely be back in the country as they simply haven’t felt this kind of love outside of their own home turf.
To the people who’ve made this possible, from the organizing committee led by the MVP group and the SBP, the whole FIBA body, the teams that competed, the hardworking crew on the ground that made sure that things ran smoothly, the volunteers, the media and of course the beautiful fans from all over the world — on behalf of The GAME magazine, allow me to express my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to all of you.
Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat para sa makasaysayang at hindi malilimutang dalawang linggo ng ng basketball.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Banner image from FIBA Basketball.