AS one of the countries in the world known for its passion for basketball, it is only fitting for the Philippines to own the record considered a novelty as far as the sport is concerned.
Officials behind the 2014 Basketball Marathon are confident the Filipinos will be able to surpass the Guinness record of 112 hours and 13 seconds of continuous playing currently being hold by the US.
“I’m confident to say we’ll beat that (record) barring any technical hitches,” said Jacque Ruby, chief operating officer (COO) of the organizing Access Discovery Channel in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Larry 'Doc' Macapanpan, one of the 24 players comprising the two teams that will attempt to break the record at the Meralco gym starting on March 24, was also present during the session presented by Accel, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., and Shakey’s.
Ruby said participants are now undergoing conditioning and practicing daily at the Philsports Arena as part of their preparation for their shot at the world record which they hope to achieve by March 28.
“We’re taking a scientific approach to it. The Americans wala silang training when they broke the previous record (110 hours set by Hungary) and their average age is like 41 at may dalawa silang 70-years-old,” said Ruby. “Pero tayo ang average age natin is 26 and were training on a daily basis. Kaya I believe malaki talaga ang chance natin.”
Ruby said 12 players will comprise each of the two teams as per Fiba rules. There are no timeouts and no halftime break during the game, but fouls called on players will revert back to zero after every two hours.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will be providing referees, table officials, statisticians, timers, among others.
“It’s really a game, with Guinness Book adjudicators present during the event to make sure we don’t violate any rules,” said Ruby, who added players can’t go home and will have to eat and sleep at courtside.
The plan is for the team to go 120 hours although everything depends on the condition of the players. As precautionary measures, Ruby said doctors and at least three ambulances are on standby at the playing venue.
Funds to be raised during the event will be used to construct a housing village and a basketball court in partnership with Gawad Kalinga in the Visayas region devastated by super-typhoon Yolanda.