THE Philippines’ bid for a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records kicked off on Monday through the novelty project `basketball marathon’ that aims to set the mark for the longest game ever played.
Twenty-four cagers together with a handful of game officials are looking to eclipse the current record of 112 hours and 13 seconds of non-stop basketball established last year in Missouri, USA.
“That’s our aim and with the way things are going in our first three hours, we feel we can break it,” said Jacq Rubie, chief operating officer of Discovery Access and organizer of the special event.
“Kita mo naman, first three hours pa lamang 300 plus na ang scores ng dalawa, yet they still have the stamina. They’re still jumping and doing dunks," he added.
“We wanted to set 120 hours. That’s eight hours more than the current record and we can do it. We will do it,” said the longtime sports event organizer.
Makeshift beds and cabinets have already been installed in the gallery section of the Meralco gym, where players from the two competing teams, Bounce Back and Walang Iwanan, hope to play until Saturday morning when organizers expect to break the existing record.
Hundreds of curious fans have trooped to the venue to witness how history unfolds for this basketball-crazy nation.
“Nakakatuwa panoorin kasi although pareho yung rules ng game, naiba ng kaunti kasi may challenge saka walang time out, time out. Patibayan talaga,” said Arvin Roa, an observer from official event merchandise Accel.
Rubie stressed the game should not just be focused on strategy like what fans normally see in regular matches, but also on patience and mental toughness.
“Diskartehan na sa court 'yan, tapos dyan pa masusubok ang tatag ng katawan at ng isip nila. Imagine, they need to play until Saturday,” said Rubie.
“Basta ang rules dito, bawal lumayo sa venue. Gawin mo lahat ng gusto mo. Matulog ka, kumain ka, pero dyan ka lang,” he said.
A total of 40 referees will take turns in officiating the game, while other officials rotate in manning the scoreboards and other game details.
“Wala talaga sir, kailangan mag-palitan. Dito po ako sa scoreboard kaya every four hours ang palitan namin ng partner ko, hindi pwedeng eight hours kasi paano po kung maiihi? Hindi pwedeng iwan,” said Boy Guran, the scoreboard official.
Rubie said proceeds of the event will go to the rehabilitation and building of houses in the Visayas region destroyed by super-typhoon Yolanda.