Basketball: Canada wins historic First Basketball World Cup Medal

Vancouver, B.C.

Philippines wins against China, booked last ticket for Olympic qualifiers

Mildred German
Team Canada’s Senior Men’s Basketball National Team concludes the 2023 FIBA World Cup with a historic win- its first medal, a bronze, on September 10, 2023 in Manila, Philippines after a bout with the United States.

Competing and winning in the FIBA Basketball World Cup is a big deal. As of 2020, qualification for the Olympic Games is through the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Notably only 24 teams out of 32 teams will be participating in four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, according to FIBA,

With the next Summer Olympics to take place in Paris, France from July 26, 2024 to August 11, 2024, Canada’s basketball team had already secured their place in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics with its September 6 win against Slovenia. Yet, Canada’s basketball team continues to shine with its historic first medal win in the FiIBA World Cup. It has been since 1923 when the Canadian men’s national basketball team represented the country in international basketball competitions. Canada had nine Olympic appearances and so far won one medal in basketball- a silver at the 1936 Games in Berlin, Germany.


Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippines men’s national basketball team, marked their exit at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with a 96-75 victory against the People’s Republic of China on September 2, 2023. With this win, the Philippines placed 24th in overall ranking and booked the last ticket for the Olympic qualifiers. On the other side, the People’s Republic of China fell into 29th place overall at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and did not make the Olympic qualifiers.

With the elimination process been egregarious, Gilas Pilipinas lost three consecutive games- against Angola, Dominican Republic, and Italy. With these losses in their own homebase (with the Philippines hosting the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup), Gilas Pilipinas indeed salvaged some pride after winning their last game against the People’s Republic of China on September 2, 2023. Not only Philippine basketball fans were delighted by the Gilas Pilipinas 96-75 win, the Philippines too locked the last 24th place for the Olympic qualifiers to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Gilas Pilipinas’ victory against the People’s Republic of China was not only the Philippines’ monumental exit to the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, their game also sparked viral memes, as metaphors on the current crises in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) wherein the People’s Republic of China continues to illegally occupy Philippine territories, attack Filipino fishing boats, and violate Philippines’ national sovereignty. Although, it was the first time the People’s Republic of China and the Philippines squared off in basketball since the 2018 ASIAN GAMES, the basketball court probably is one of the ways to resolve this imminent WPS war.

Basketball, for Filipinos, is more than about the love of the game – but also an expression of the pride, courage, and national determination of the Filipino nation. In this case, Gilas Pilipinas delivered a victory, sealed the Philippines a spot in the Olympic qualifiers, and disappointed the People’s Republic of China with a brutal loss.

Notably, the Philippines made their debut in the Olympic Games in 1936 where they finished fifth place– the best result to date of an Asian team in Olympic basketball history.


According to the Olympics website, two Canadian basketball players make it to the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Top Scorers. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 165 total points and placed second in the Top 10. Gilgeous-Alexander  comes next to Slovenia’s Luka Doncic who has a total points of 216. Another Canadian player, RJ Barrett, placed 6th with a total of 134 points.

Lastly, Gilas Pilipinas’ Jordan Clarkson also made it to Top 10 Scorers. Filipino-American professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, and representing the Philippines at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, has placed seventh with a total points of 130. rs-points-rebounds-assists-complete-list

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