Why Basketball is So Popular in the Philippines

Why Basketball is So Popular in the Philippines

With the ISAC Basketball competition ongoing, it is no question that among the three sports played in the competition; basketball is the most popular sport in our country. In the Philippines, you will always see a basketball court around every corner. From little kids to older adults, people of all ages can be seen dribbling the ball and shooting it to the rim. People play with just slippers or even with no footwear at all. Even without a proper court, people still play basketball in the streets with a makeshift rim. It raises the question: why are Filipinos so fascinated with basketball?

Firstly, how did basketball even start in the Philippines?  Basketball was invented in America in 1891 and American colonizers introduced it to the Philippines in 1898 as part of revisions they made to the official Philippine school system. With that, we became one of the first countries to play basketball and since then, the sport took off and spread across the country.

One of the main factors that really brought the rise of the sport is its accessibility. There is not much space required, no need for expensive equipment and maintenance, and there isn’t a required number of players for a simple game; basketball carries well across the country. This has led to makeshift courts that we see everywhere in the country. Basketball is also easily playable and easy to learn which makes it really a game for everyone.

Additionally, the game simply has that entertainment factor that Filipinos just love. The strategic and dynamic nature of the game makes it admired by both players and spectators. Filipinos love being entertained and with the fast pace and physicality that the game brings, it really keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. 

Lastly, basketball reflects the Filipino culture of hard work and determination. The game has been a means for social events and with the fact that Filipinos are communal, the game has been ingrained in the culture.

Basketball in the Philippines isn’t a sport but it’s a lifestyle. Nike reports that the Philippines is the third-largest basketball market. 81% of the urban population claim to be basketball fans, with nearly 50% being avid fans (Why Is Basketball so Popular in the Philippines?, 2018). It is the number one sport in both viewership and participation. It is safe to say that there is no sport that unites every Filipino of every social class of every one of the 7,107 islands more than the game of basketball.

Article by Maximus S. (G11) and Feature Image by Ara O. (G11)

The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.


Why is basketball so popular in the Philippines? (2018, January 3). KVH Mobile World. https://kvhmobileworld.com/philippine-basketball-why-so-popular/#:~:text=Its%20accessibility%20is%20a%20real,for%20both%20players%20and%20spectators.

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