June 25, 2024

Luis Scola, Yao Ming arrive in the Philippines for FIBA World Cup draw

Luis Scola, Yao Ming arrive in the Philippines for FIBA World Cup draw

More basketball stars, such as Luis Scola and Yao Ming, have descended on the Philippines for the FIBA World Cup draw this Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Scola, a basketball legend for Argentina and a global ambassador of the FIBA World Cup, arrived on Thursday night. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist spoke to News5 about visiting the Philippines and the country's rich hoops culture.

"It's a huge basketball fan base here, it's huge," Scola said. "There’s a few places in the world that has a passion for basketball as we have here in Philippines so it’s a great opportunity."

"I hope we can do more things here."

Scola has become particularly ingrained with Filipinos after he was posterized by Gilas Pilipinas' Gabe Norwood in the 2014 edition of the FIBA World Cup. It was later heralded as the best slam of the competition.


"Yeah! I’m excited to see everybody," Scola said after he was asked about Norwood and that dunk. "I’m looking forward to it!"

Yao, an NBA Hall of Famer and FIBA Central Board member, meanwhile, arrived early Friday morning.

Early Thursday, Germany's Dirk Nowitzki also arrived in the Philippines as the players' representative in the FIBA Central Board. 

Aside from the draw, which will determine the groups for the 32-team basketball tournament, board member and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan will also be hosting the meeting of the FIBA Central Board

Tickets for the FIBA World Cup draw are still available at www.ticketnet.com.ph

(With reports from Martie Bautista and Ian Suyu, News5)