WITH world-class basketball in store for the coming Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July at the Mall of Asia Arena, tickets won't necessarily come cheap.
But the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) assured that it will do everything possible to keep ticket prices affordable for the fans, even for an event of this magnitude.
“We will try to be as fair as we can,” said SBP deputy executive director for international affairs Butch Antonio.
While ticket prices have not yet been determined, expect that it will be commensurate to the load of top basketball talent coming for the Manila qualifiers. Antonio vowed that those who will purchase tickets will definitely get their money’s worth.
“You have to understand that this is an international competition with international, first-rate quality basketball. It’s not your regular all-star game or exhibition game na people don’t take things seriously," Antonio said
“This is the best players in their countries that will go for the kill for that lone position in the Manila championship to make it to the Olympics,” he added.
Gilas Pilipinas hosts five teams not lacking in NBA talent during the OQT set from July 5 to 10. The six competing teams are divided into two groups which will play in a round-robin format with the top two squads from each bracket advancing to the semifinals.
The Final Four winners will battle for that lone berth in Rio.
NBA stars like France's Tony Parker and Canada's Andrew Wiggins are set to compete for their respective countries in the Manila qualifiers.
Antonio said SBP and Mall of Asia Arena will come up with ticket information soon.
“We are working on it, both the Mall of Asia Arena and our management, on the tickets,” said Antonio.
The SBP official also said they are in the process of determining the total number of seats to be available as some of the seats will be taken by those involved in the running of the Manila OQT.
“If Mall of Asia Arena is a hundred percent, they will have to take off certain percentage for players tribune, media, VIP, technical officials, and the likes. Ngayon pa lang natin rinereconfigure based on sa mga nabawas na seats,” he said.
“We want to know the exact number. We don’t want to oversell tickets and we don’t want to undersell and not maximize potential,” added Antonio.