Get hyped for big games at the ‘Big Dome’ in FIBA World Cup 2023

Gilas Pilipinas ( photo)
Gilas Pilipinas ( photo)

The historic Smart Araneta Coliseum will yet again make history from Aug. 26 to Sep. 3 as one of the venues for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

The 63-year-old ‘Big Dome’ that served as the setting for the first FIBA World Cup in Asia in 1978 and the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975 will once more play host to a major sporting event as it welcomes Gilas Pilipinas, along with Group A rivals Angola, Dominican Republic, and Italy, as well as Group B squads South Sudan, China, Serbia, and Puerto Rico.

The maiden game day at the coliseum in Quezon City on August 26 will feature debuting South Sudan challenging determined Puerto Rico at 4 p.m., ahead of a heavyweight bout between Serbia and China at 8 p.m.

The next day will then see the Philippine national team meeting 2019 tormentor Angola at 8 p.m. before the hometown bets turn their attention to powerhouse Italy, which could field a number of NBA veterans, on Aug. 29, with tip-off also at 8 p.m.

Gilas Pilipinas hopes to jump off its enviable home court advantage to leap into the next group phase – a much-welcome step forward after the world meet in China four years ago.

Another matchup to watch out for will take place on August 27, as the Dominican Republic, with NBA big man Karl-Anthony Towns, meets Italy at 4 p.m.

Puerto Rico – led by talented trio of Tremont Waters, Ismael Romero, and Christopher Ortiz – in Group B will get back-to-back tough tests against Serbia and China on August 28 and 30, respectively.

Even without recent NBA champion and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, the Serbians remain a force to be reckoned with thanks to Atlanta Hawks sixth man Bogdan Bogdanovic, as well as EuroLeague star Marko Guduric. China is no slouch either, as Minnesota Timberwolves versatile forward Kyle Anderson just recently formalized his citizenship and is set to suit up.

Fans can take part in making history with big games at the ‘Big Dome’ by availing tickets via

Tickets for games at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, on the other hand, are on sale at