Passi City hosts Asian Tournament, aims to boost economy

The City of Passi hosted a welcome program and press conference for the second leg of The Asian Tournament on Monday, May 20 at City of Passi Arena. (Mariela Angella Oladive photo)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The City of Passi Arena (COPA) in Iloilo is abuzz with excitement as it hosts the second leg of The Asian Tournament, marking the city’s debut as a venue for an international basketball event.

The week-long tournament, which kicks off today and runs until May 27, is expected to draw significant attention and contribute to the local economy and tourism.

In a welcoming program and press conference held on Monday, May 20, the eight competing basketball teams from various countries, including China, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, were introduced.

The teams—Mustang, East Sea Pirates, Zamboanga Valientes, Pola Pilipinas RPG, Macau Black Bears, Vanta Black Dragons, and two guest teams, Aces and Jambo—each comprise 15 players.

Department of Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Jesry T. Palmares expressed his enthusiasm for the event.

“I am so happy that this is now realized. I am also happy to inform the organizers that maybe in a couple of years, by 2026, we will also have a brand new facility for this kind of activity to be situated in Brgy. Man-it,” Palmares said.

Mayor Stephen Palmares also shared his excitement and highlighted the significance of hosting The Asian Tournament for Passi City.

“This is another milestone for Passi City. Hosting The Asian Tournament is a great opportunity for our city to showcase its venue worldwide,” he said.

He emphasized the anticipated economic and tourism benefits, expressing optimism that the event would help Passi City achieve its goal of becoming the sports capital of Western Visayas by 2028.

Ensuring the safety of both the public and the athletes, Mayor Palmares assured a well-organized event. The presence of prominent figures such as Bryan Tabañag, Deputy Commissioner of The Asian Tournament, and other city officials underscored the importance of the event.

The public is warmly invited to witness the games, with free admission offered for all tournament matches, making it accessible for everyone to enjoy high-level basketball action.

With the tournament expected to attract sports enthusiasts and visitors, local businesses are optimistic about the positive impact on the economy. The influx of tourists and participants is likely to boost hospitality, dining, and retail sectors in the city.

The Asian Tournament’s presence in Passi City not only brings world-class basketball to the region but also positions the city as a burgeoning hub for sports and tourism in Western Visayas.