THE 27th Fiba-Asia Championship is set to bring in more fans in its final three days with Gilas Pilipinas in a strong running for a one of three berths for next year’s World Basketball Championship in Spain.
So far the Mall of Asia Arena has been enjoying full-packed crowd on games involving the national team, while a sizeable audience is also noticed during matches featuring Iran, Korea, and defending champion China.
With the tournament set to play its knockout quarterfinal stage on Friday, followed by the semis on Saturday, and finals by Sunday, interest in the biennial meet being staged in the country for the first time in 40 years is expected to peak if can Gilas defies the odds.
As it is, a Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) insider said conservative estimates had the tournament earning at least P6 to P7 million per day on ticket sales alone during its first six playing days.
The revenue could have been more – around P9 million - but some tickets at ringside and lower box sections are reserved for Fiba-Asia staff and guests, together with those of corporate sponsors.
“More or less nasa P6 million per day because at least 30 percent of the tickets naka-reserve na sa Fiba-Asia staff and mga sponsors,” said the SBP source, who refused to be named since he is not authorized to talk about the matter.
The tension-filled game between Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese-Taipei drew the biggest crowd to have watched the national team at 19,638.
Despite the increase in ticket prices for the tournament’s final three days, Fiba-Asia tickets had been sold out in an instance – especially for the quarterfinal phase – as basketball fans scramble to find one.
“Expected na mas maraming tao ang manonood especially with Gilas Pilipinas on track of contending for one of three berths to the World Basketball Championship,” added the SBP source.
The country’s sole governing body for basketball shelled out around P70 million to stage the Fiba-Asia meet here for the first time since 1973.