Nearly 40 percent of the population in the Philippines plays or has played basketball. 81 percent of the popular claims to be avid basketball fans.
Why is this South Asian country so obsessed with this sport?
There’s no question that basketball is a worldwide sport with fans everywhere. But, the level of enthusiasm for basketball in the Philippines is unlike anywhere else.
To learn more about sports in the Philippines and their massive appreciation for basketball, keep reading.
1. It’s Part of Their History
The Americans occupied the Philippines from 1898 to 1946. During those first years, the Americans and the YMCA revamped the Filipino educational system.
That included introducing the female students to a sport called basketball.
It was supposed to be safer and easier for female students than baseball and track and field. Since the game was only invented in 1891, the Philippines was one of the first countries to play it.
2. They’re Really Good at It
The Philippines are massive competitors in the national and international basketball stage. Up until the 1960s, the national team was one of the best in the world. It continues to qualify for almost every tournament and competition.
In 1975, they started their own basketball association. It has over 41 seasons under its belt.
It’s even recognized by Nike for being the third largest basketball market in the world. That’s after America and China.
3. It’s Accessible to Play
There are some sports that are only meant for the wealthy. They often include expensive arenas or venues and lots of equipment.
Basketball isn’t one of those sports.
Like soccer, all you need for a pickup game of basketball is a ball and a hoop. No matter where in the Philippines kids live, they can find a game of basketball to participate in.
4. It’s Accessible to Watch
If they aren’t going to play basketball, they’re certainly going to watch it. There are always at least five cable television channels airing basketball at any given time.
The mass consumption of the sport has led to a massive betting scene in the Philippines. Filipinos use Sports Prediction Asia to inform their bets and to make money.
5. It Unites the Country
Every country needs a unifying interest in its culture. For Canada, it’s hockey; for India, it’s cricket; for England, it’s football.
For the Philippines, it’s basketball.
Having a common interest with your fellow Filipinos allows you to connect with each other. Seeing the games in person or on a screen brings people together. The passion for the sport gets passed down through generations.
Want to Learn More About Sports in the Philippines?
Basketball is a staple in the Philippines for entertainment, activity, and patriotism. There’s no surprise that this sport is so ingrained in their society and culture.
In general, sports in the Philippines are an important part of Filipino culture. If you’re interested in learning more about the athletic scene in Asia, read the Sports section of our site.