THE launch of the official mascot for the 2023 FIBA World Cup is just the start of a series of activities leading to the one-year countdown of the event considered as the Olympics of basketball.
2023 FIBA World Cup set for countdown
FIBA World Cup 2023 executive director David Crocker said several events will be held to celebrate the official countdown for the quadrennial showpiece beginning August 25.
“On the 25th of August, its one year to go (for the World Cup), and so we’re excited about that,” said Crocker.
To drum up the 365-day countdown, FIBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will be installing a specially designed clock programmed all the way to next year’s World Cup.
“We’ll launch this beautiful clock in a location very close here (Mall of Asia Arena) in another celebration for the community, for the sport, for basketball, and get people excited about having the best basketball in the world come here in the Philippines.”
Also on the same day, Gilas Pilipinas battles Lebanon in the third window of the World Cup qualifiers.
Crocker was present when the World Cup mascot JIP was formally launched at the MoA last week, and joined during the celebration by SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) official Bong Coo.
JIP is the moniker of the three countries that will co-host the World Cup – a first in the history of the event – namely, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines.
JIP is a man-sized robot who was a creation of three kids from the hosting countries – Caloy from the Philippines, Kota from Japan, and Dewi from Indonesia, who met online and ended up building the basketball mascot.
Crocker said JIP will also be visiting schools and community groups to tell about his story and promote the staging of the World Cup.
So far, the lively robot has been eliciting attractions and curiosity since he was launched.
“We have launch of him in Indonesia, and you can see the kids engage, enjoy, and love (him),” according to Crocker. “This is much what I did because I really found him exciting. To see him come into life, see him doing his thing, I think he’s a great mascot for the World Cup.
“I saw JIP for the first time, I was actually genuinely excited to see what he looks like, the way he interacts and playful.”
The event launch was hosted by courtside reporter Denise Tan and Eric Tai, while live performances were provided by Sponge Cola and Karylle and the Hype Streetball PH.
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