Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony arrive in Manila for Fiba World Cup final phase


Team USA and NBA legend Carmelo Anthony during his introduction as Fiba Basketball World Cup 2023 ambassador at Smart Araneta Coliseum. –SBP/FIBA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Three days after the arrival of Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander–two of the NBA’s brightest young stars–here, legends and Fiba World Cup 2023 global ambassadors Pau Gasol and Carmelo Anthony landed in this basketball-crazy country to witness the final phase of the tournament.

Gasol and Anthony landed in Manila on Thursday afternoon to join fellow ambassador Luis Scola in upcoming activities for the last stretch of the Fiba World Cup.

Gasol, who was recently inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame last month, will be joining former WNBA start Sue Bird on Friday afternoon for the announcement of the Fiba Women’s World Cup 2026 at Mall of Asia Arena.

The 2006 World Cup MVP and champion from Spain will also have a talk show with his fellow ambassadors Anthony and Scola, who are in Manila for the second time.

Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers NBA

FILE – Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during his jersey retirement ceremony at halftime in the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena on March 07, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

It’s the former Los Angeles Laker’s first time in the Philippines, where his former teammate and close friend, the late Kobe Bryant, visited several times. Last March, the Lakers retired Gasol’s jersey next to Bryant’s in an emotional ceremony at Arena. The two won back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.

Former Team USA star Anthony, who won three Olympic golds, was in Manila last February where he was introduced as the third global ambassador at Smart Araneta Coliseum and watched the Gilas Pilipinas’ Asian qualifier game against Lebanon and presented the Naismith Trophy at Philippine Arena.

Argentina star Scola, who attended the Fiba draw last April at the Big Dome, arrived in Manila on Wednesday.

The semifinal games between Canada and Serbia and Team USA and Germany are set on Friday at MOA Arena.

The bronze and gold medal matches will be on Sunday.

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