Smart kicks off year-long countdown to FIBAWC 2023; Clarkson, Sotto banner Gilas quintet

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FIBA global partner Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has officially begun its year-long countdown to the much-anticipated Philippine hosting of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with a glimpse of world-class basketball action from the FIBAWC Asian Qualifiers Window 4 games that will pit Gilas Pilipinas against Lebanon on Aug 26 at 2:00 a.m. and Saudi Arabia on Aug. 29 at 7:00 p.m.

In time for the countdown, Gilas Pilipinas announced that NBA star Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto of the Adelaide 36ERS will be suiting up for the FIBAWC Window 4 games, which will be streamed live on the Smart GigaPlay App.

Fans may also experience the Gilas vs. Saudi Arabia action live at the Mall of Asia Arena on Aug 29 (Monday).

(L-R) Kai Sotto, Dwight Ramos and Jordan Clarkson
(L-R) Kai Sotto, Dwight Ramos and Jordan Clarkson

Joining Clarkson and Sotto in the Gilas Pilipinas 13-man team bound for Lebanon are current stars from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) led by reigning league MVP Scottie Thompson. Also on the list are Japeth Aguilar, Jamie Malonzo, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, Carl Tamayo, and free agent Roosevelt Adams. Completing the squad are Japan B.League’s Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, Jr., and Dwight Ramos.

“We can’t wait to bring the FIBA World Cup to the Philippines on August 25, 2023. To watch the best players in the world — including current NBA greats — means everything for Filipino basketball fans. We at Smart are honored to make this possible,” says Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart President/CEO and President of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

“To give us a taste of what’s going to happen one year from now, we will host the Gilas vs. Saudi Arabia game on Aug. 29 at the MOA Arena. Our national team will be led by no less than Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto,” added Panlilio.

Aside from his roles with Smart and the SBP, Panlilio also serves as the Chairman of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 local organizing committee, and the Second Vice President of FIBA Asia Central Board.

Powered by the Philippines’ Best Mobile Network

As FIBA global partner, Smart enables customers to immerse in world-class basketball action powered by the Philippines’ Best Mobile Network as recognized by Ookla, the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence.

“With the fastest speeds and the widest coverage enjoyed by Smart users, basketball fans can enjoy the energy, the excitement, and everything that comes with topnotch basketball action. Games will feature not only our very own but also the world’s top basketball stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece, Luka Doncic of Slovenia, and LeBron James of Team USA at the FIBAWC 2023,” shares Francis E. Flores, SVP and Head of Consumer Business Group – Individual at Smart.

Fans can watch all the world-class basketball action via the GigaPlay App exclusive for Smart subscribers available for download from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Smart GigaPlay will stream the World Cup Qualifiers Window 4 live with the following schedules: Aug. 26: Philippines vs Lebanon (2 a.m.), Slovenia vs Estonia (2:30 a.m.), Canada vs Argentina (10:40 a.m.), and Kazakhstan vs China (10 p.m.); August 28: Slovenia vs Germany (9 p.m.); Aug. 29 Serbia vs Turkey (1 a.m.), Philippines vs Saudi Arabia (7 p.m. and live at the MOA Arena); and August 30: Japan vs Kazakhstan (5:05 p.m.).

The GigaPlay App will also stream replays of the Gilas games with the following schedules: Gilas vs Lebanon on Aug. 26 at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Gilas vs Saudi Arabia on Aug. 29 at 9 p.m.

Win an iPhone 13 Pro or Gilas replica jerseys

Basketball fans can get a chance to win an iPhone 13 Pro or Gilas replica jerseys when they join the stat guessing game via SBP’s Facebook messenger from Aug. 22 to 29. To join, simply go to the SBP Facebook page and join Guess the Stats game via Messenger. Key in “POWER” to start guessing the stats of the Gilas players in their game against Saudi Arabia on August 29.

Smart has also prepared immersive experiences and exclusive treats for customers and fans trooping to the SM Mall of Asia Arena for the FIBA World Cup ‘1 Year to Go’ Event. Catch Smart’s booth at the MOA Music Hall on August 29 for a chance to win prizes.