The powerful – and very popular – United States men’s basketball team will be playing in the Philippines during the group stage of the FIBA World Cup 2023 from 25 August to 10 September.
According to the International Basketball Federation, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has selected Team USA to play in the country when it hosts the group stages that would be held at the Mall of Asia Arena and Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With that, Filipino basketball fans will get to see National Basketball Association stars like Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green, Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo and Damian Lillard live in action.
Although they won the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics last year, the Americans slipped to No. 2 in the latest FIBA ranking behind powerhouse Spain – the reigning World Cup champion.
Local fans will get to witness the American exploits as FIBA global partner, Smart Communications, will stream their games via the Smart LiveStream App.
For Filipino basketball fans, this means a once-in-a-lifetime chance to physically witness
some of the best basketball players in the world at the designated FIBA venues in the
Philippines and all the games live and via the Smart LiveStream App, which is downloadable
on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Smart subscribers are in for a treat with the chance to win much-coveted arena seats to the
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 games through Smart Live.
With this, Smart customers the ultimate advantage of watching their favorite NBA superstars battle it out on the hardcourt in a bid to regain world basketball supremacy.
Two other host nations selected their preferred teams as well.
Japan opted to host Luka Doncic and Team Slovenia in Okinawa while Indonesia decided to roll out the red carpet for Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins and the Team Canada in Jakarta.
FIBA said they have decided to allow the host country to select their preferred country for commercial reasons and it will have no impact on the level of competition or outcome of the group stage.
“Each host could select a preferred team based on commercial reasons, as their choice will have no impact on the integrity of the event or the draw process,” FIBA said in a statement.
The world-governing body for basketball added that the host country and its preferred team will not play be placed in the same group to make sure that they will not clash in the group stages.
“As was they case at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 with China, the Philippines, as tournament host for the Group Phase and Final phase will be placed in Pot 1 for the draw,” FIBA said.
“They will be joined in Pot 1 by the best ranked team in the FIBA World Ranking Men after the last qualifying window to be played in February 2023. For that reason, USA and the Philippines will be placed in two different groups of the four that will take place in the Philippines.”
The final composition of the pools will be determined after the draw that will be held in Manila on 29 April.