The year 2021 was a golden one for Philippine sports—from the historic medal haul in the Tokyo Olympics, TNT Tropang Giga’s championship after a six-year drought, to the stellar performance of Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers and the valiant showing of Filipino athletes in gymnastics, football, volleyball, esports, and other tournaments.
“It’s a forerunner of things to come for our Filipino athletes,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of the country’s largest fully integrated telco PLDT.
PLDT, Smart, and the MVP Sports Foundation have long been working with national agencies to support promising Filipino athletes in their training and competitions. The telco firm also tapped platforms such as TikTok to promote sports and mental resiliency, and partnered with grassroots organizations and local government units to provide Filipino youth a venue to showcase their talent in esports.
“We are committed to supporting Filipino athletes in 2022 and beyond. We’re fixing the programs of our teams and spending more to help our athletes have better chances of representing the Philippines in the global arena,” Pangilinan said.
Smart has also been preparing for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023. PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio also received a fresh mandate to lead the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as its president for another year. “I hope we do an excellent job in hosting a championship that will be remembered by the FIBA,” he said.
In addition, PLDT. Smart, and MVPSF are also preparing for the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, FIBA Asia Cup, and the Philippines’ hosting of a FIBA Qualifying window.
“We Filipinos love sports so much that it has the power to bring us together as a nation. It gives us a deep sense of community, camaraderie, and pride,” added Panlilio, who also serves as the president of MVPSF and first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
PLDT and Smart have also brought sports closer to the Filipinos through various innovative services powered by the fastest network in the country.
The Olympics, NBA, PBA, volleyball games, and esports tournaments, among others, were streamed on the Smart Sports Facebook Page, the GigaPlay app, and across all social media platforms — allowing fans to watch the games conveniently through their gadgets.
Smart also brought about the country’s first 5G-powered sports broadcast during the PBA games.
On esports, Smart has also partnered with game creators, supported local and international tournaments, delighted subscribers with exclusive mobile data offers for gaming, and actively participates in PESO, which governs and develops esports for over 43 million gamers in the country.