The Philippines is one of the most active countries in terms of basketball. It is the only country in Asia that has won an Olympic gold medal in the sport and has been one of Asia’s dominant teams for decades.
Basketball became popular in the Philippines due to its American influence. The first game was played on April 9, 1975, at Araneta Coliseum, featuring Concepcion Carrier and Mariwasa-Noritake. Let’s take a look at a guide to basketball in the Philippines.
History Of Basketball in the Philippines
The Philippines was a Spanish colony that became a part of the United States after the Spanish-American War. The Americans colonised the Philippines for more than five decades and introduced basketball in this era. The American colonisers introduced this game in the school system, and within very less time, it started spreading across the nation.
In 1946, the Philippines was an independent place, but the influence of basketball remained. The country made the highest place in basketball around the world after the formation of the Philippine Basketball Association.
What Is the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)?
The Philippine Basketball Association, or PBA, is the country’s first and oldest professional basketball league. Nine teams founded the PBA in 1975 (75 years after the birth of basketball in the Philippines). Its goal was to make basketball a more popular sport in the country.
PBA currently ranks as the second-oldest continuously operating professional basketball league after the NBA (US National Basketball Association). It has become a national sporting association with more than 20 participating teams.
The PBA played its first game on April 9, 1975, in Manila at Araneta Coliseum. The matchup featured Mariwasa-Honda and Concepcion-Sales as teams. The Philippine basketball team has won several trophies in international competitions, such as:
All-Filipino Cup 1994
PBA Governors’ Cup 1994
Jun Bernardino Trophy 2007
One of the most famous events in the history of the PBA league is the Crispa Redmanizers – Toyota Super Corollas rivalry. It happened in the 1970s and is known to be the most famous team rivalry up till now. Its popularity is the controversies linked with the teams and their members. People are eager to watch these teams match, and the ticket sales break records.
When Did The Philippines Become A Part Of FIBA?
The Philippines basketball association joined FIBA (the International Basketball Federation) in 1936. And in the same year, this league made its first debut in Olympics, ranking fifth. It was the highest rank of any Asian team in the Olympics history. Here is the list of victories of the Philippines basketball association:
1951 Gold medal at the Asian Games
1954 Placed third in FIBA World Championship
1978 Hosted the FIBA World Championship
2013 Second-place in FIBA Asia Championship
2015 The women’s team was promoted to Level 1, winning against India
2020 Filipino basketball players play overseas in different leagues
Unity In Filipino Basketball
The history of Filipino basketball is a story that includes the perseverance and dedication of players, coaches, and fans. It is a story of how Filipinos have come together to play the game they love.
There are many different ways to find unity in the game. For some, it is through their favourite team, favourite player, or team jersey colour. Yet, for others, it can be found in how they play or even in what court they play on.
The Philippines has a rich basketball history and has seen many players come through its ranks – from amateurs to professionals and from grassroots players to NBA stars like Danny Green and Jordan Clarkson.
How Many Basketball Leagues Are There In The Philippines?
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is a professional men’s basketball league comprised of twelve companies with franchised teams.
Few other leagues in the Philippines are also mentioned:
National Basketball League
Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League
PBA Developmental League
Philippine Basketball League
Philippine Collegiate Champions League
How Much Do Basketball Players Make In The Philippines?
The average salary for Filipino basketball players is about $3,000 a month or $36,000 a year. The average Filipino basketball player can make between $2,000 and $4,000 monthly. It is the equivalent of an annual salary of $24,000 to $48,000.
Top Ten Wealthiest PBA Players
Greg Slaughter is ranked second on the list. He is a well-known Filipino-American professional basketball player representing the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Calvin Abueva comes at the third position on the list of wealthiest professional basketball players and plays for Alaska Aces of the PBA.
Asi Taulava is in the fourth position as the wealthiest professional basketball player in the world.
At number five on the wealthiest professional basketball athletes list is Arwind Santos, with $1.5 million.
Stanley Pringle is ranked sixth.
Jayson Castro comes in at number 7 on the list after LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
Terrence Romeo is the eighth number on the top 10 wealthiest PBA athletes list.
Brian Heruela is number 9 on the list, making a total of $1 million yearly.
Cliff Hodge is placed in the tenth position on the list representing the Meralco Bolts.
Philippines Basketball Conclusion
The Philippines has always embraced basketball as a huge part of its culture. Whether you are in metro Manila or the provinces, it is always possible to find a basketball court where ever you go.
If you are a basketball lover and a Filipino basketball fan, leave a comment!