Transport still biggest challenge in PH's Fiba World Cup hosting–organizers | Inquirer Sports

Transport still biggest challenge in PH’s Fiba World Cup hosting–organizers

/ 09:35 PM June 28, 2023

Fiba World Cup 2023 Smart Araneta Coliseum Fiba Hosting

A view of a basketball during the SBP test event for the Fiba World Cup hosting at Smart Araneta Coliseum. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Fiba sees transportation as one of the biggest concerns ahead of the Philippines’ hosting of the Fiba World Cup 2023 games from August 25 to September 5.

Fiba World Cup 2023 executive director David Crocker was pleased after the simulation game between UAAP champion Ateneo and NCAA titlist Letran on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum, but he believes that transportation of the teams from the hotel to the venue would be a challenge.


“Transport is the biggest challenge. There are a lot of people who try to move around Metro Manila at the same time as we’d like to. We had great cooperation with the highway patrol group to help us work out the best routes and clear the traffic. But we’re also conscious about not creating a dilemma for the general public as well. So we’re trying to find a smooth way to figure it all out. Transport is absolutely the biggest challenge,” Crocker said shortly after the first game at the Big Dome.


“If you could imagine the players getting on the bus, coming to the games, and having experience of nice, easy-flowing traffic when they get here they’ll feel great. We’ve had times in the past where maybe a bus was going the wrong direction so players got frustrated, they come here and not ready to play. Those are some examples of every single time we have to get right,” he added. 


Fiba World Cup Erika Dy

Fiba World Cup deputy event director Erika Dy. –MARLO CUETO/

Erika Dy, the deputy event director, said the local organizing committee had a transport simulation on Tuesday from the Grand Hyatt to Araneta Coliseum and to the Philippine Arena as well as Conrad to Mall of Asia Arena. And the bus ride to Bocaue, Bulacan was a challenge.

“With regard to transportation that was simulated yesterday so we had buses from the Grand Hyatt to Araneta as well as to the Philippine Arena even from Conrad to MOA. We had to test that even though it was a very short distance. That went well. The Philippine Arena ride was still a challenge, we’re still hoping to save up a few more minutes,” Dy said.

“Right now we’re using the bus lane so we have to coordinate properly with the different bus stops because that was where the clogging was happening yesterday. It’s hard to be in the single bus lane because you can’t go out any time so when there are people loading on the buses at the bus stops, we have to stop. So that’s something we have to clear up when the actual games begin.”

Dy said they will have another round of transport simulation for Grand Hyatt to Philippine Arena.

“We might do transportation again specifically from the Grand Hyatt to Philippine Arena. We didn’t have problems yesterday with regards to transporting teams from the Grand Hyatt to Smart Araneta Coliseum and we did that drought during the draw as well and it went well,” she added.


5/10 grade

Fiba World Cup 2023 Smart Araneta Coliseum Fiba Hosting

A view of the hallways at Smart Araneta Coliseum, one of the main venues of the Fiba World Cup in Manila. –MARLO CUETO/

Dy gave the test games a grade of 5 out of 10 with a lot of work still needing to be done 58 days before the World Cup.

“What we’re really trying to test here is the foot traffic, the flow of the different working groups as well as the other clients that we have. There are a lot of things that we’ve noticed already that’s not supposed to happen so that’s a good thing that we’re able to flag this early,” said the LOC official.

“All in all, I would give it a score 5 out of 10 so that means that there’s a lot to work around,” she said. “When we had our final briefing days ago that was really the goal to spot as many problems as we can. To  be honest, if I don’t see any problems today I’ll be more worried so I’m happy that things are coming out so we can correct them early.”

Crocker was pleased with what he saw and he is optimistic that the LOC can work on the areas for improvement before the World Cup.

“I’m leaning towards 6 and a half or 7. These things they can control, they can do better, and that’s what we are talking about. These things which is the ecosystem such as the travel which are gonna be strategic and collaborated with other patterns to make this work well,” the Fiba official said.

Fiba World Cup Executive Director David Crocker on the test event at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, June 28, 2023

“I think her self-criticism is a little bit hard right now but that’s what we expect. To look at it inside. Did we get it right? Was it perfect? Then we make it better. This is all about the way we move the players around, we tested the transport system yesterday at a good time of the day but it started to rain a little bit, the evening traffic, so we got to see what the experience could be and how we could move the buses through that traffic.”

“I’m impressed with the team of the LOC. They’re thinking about the challenges and having to find solutions. I joined the meeting yesterday with all of the staff. I hear them talking about the areas of operations, the readiness, but I feel that we have a very good team. A very capable [team] that can deliver in the World Cup,” he added.

Besides the test games at the venues and transportation, Dy said the local group and Fiba are also working on their upcoming collaboration.

“It’s really working together. The LOC group and some Fiba personnel are here, getting to know how each one likes to work, picking up habits here and there. And trying to be in sync with each other so we can work as one,” she said.

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The Big Dome, which now has a newly-renovated facade and new lighting, is expected to finish the other renovations, including the media area, in mid-July.

“We’re on time in terms of the construction. It looks very different than it used to be months ago. I think by the middle of July it’s going to be fit already,” Dy said.


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TAGS: Fiba World Cup, Smart Araneta Coliseum

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