‘So worth it’: Hans Sy Jr. remembers MOA Arena beginnings amid FIBA Games hosting

September 4, 2023 - 11:36 AM
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Photo of the Mall of Asia Arena during FIBA Games (chicosy/Facebook)

Hosting the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup makes building the Mall of Asia Arena “so worth it.”

Hans Sy Jr., president of the SM Engineering Design and Development Corp (SMEDD), expressed this in a statement on Facebook on September 3 about the recent successful games that took place at the arena.

The multinational sports competition is being hosted by three countries: the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

The MOA Arena in Pasay City and the Philippine Arena in Bulacan are the official venues of these events in the country.

“It’s hosting events like the FIBA Basketball World Cup that make it all seem so worth it,” Sy said.

He also accompanied his post with a picture of an empty arena during the FIBA activities.

Sy also reminisced about the time when they were still planning to construct the indoor venue.

“When the family decided to build an arena, one of the usual questions was how good we should make it. World-class was the request of the family,” the business executive shared.

“I remember being surprised as that would mean it would cost a lot of money. A lot of money means a lot more work to make it all back. If we would even make it back,” Sy added.

He described it as a “para sa bayan” project.

“This was one of the first #parasabayan projects we would then embark on doing,” Sy said.

The MOA Arena officially opened to the public with a bang as the venue of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball” concert in May 2012.

Several acclaimed local and international artists have since made the 64,000-square-meter indoor arena a venue for their performances in the Philippines.

The MOA Arena also became a go-to venue for different sports events.

Sy thus gave a shout-out to the people behind the MOA Arena, the MOA Mall, and the SMEDD.

The SMEDD is the operating company arm under SM Prime Holdings Inc.

“I’m so proud of the teams that made this happen. From the @moaarena team to @themallofasiaofficial and of course my very own SM EDD team for making this all happen. Thank you for making this possible for all of us,” he said with a prayer emoji.

“Can’t wait for the finals!” the SM engineering head further stated.

In the overall ranking of the FIBA World Cup, the Philippines landed at the 21st spot with 398 points.

Gilas Pilipinas also snagged a spot for next year’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Paris after winning against China on Saturday.