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Slam dunk: Basketball gets World Cup bounce in the Philippines

Ticket sales are hot ahead of summer tournament

American NBA star Carmelo Anthony is a global ambassador for the 2023 men's basketball World Cup. (Photo by Yuichi Shiga)

MANILA -- Basketball is booming in the Philippines, one of the hosts of this summer's World Cup tournament, with consumption likely to increase further in the growing economy and solidify the country's place as a unique basketball superpower in Southeast Asia.

On Feb. 24, American NBA star Carmelo Anthony was appointed a global ambassador for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup, praising Filipinos as "some of the best fan bases that's in the world" in a news conference at an arena in Manila.

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