Manila - Sports

Sports

Sports in Manila have a long and distinguished history. The city's, and the country's in general, main sport is basketball, and most barangays have a makeshift basketball court, with court markings drawn on the streets. Larger barangays have covered courts; this is where interbarangay leagues are held every summer (April–May).

The city has several well-known sports venues, such as the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and San Andres Gym, the home of the now defunct Manila Metrostars. The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex houses the Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium, the Baseball Stadium, Tennis Courts, Memorial Coliseum and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium (the latter two are indoor arenas).

The Rizal complex had hosted several multi-sport events, such as the 1954 Asian Games and the 1934 Far Eastern Games. Whenever the country hosts the Southeast Asian Games, most of the events are held at the complex, but on the 2005 Games, most events were held elsewhere. The 1960 ABC Championship and the 1973 ABC Championship, forerunners of the FIBA Asia Championship, was hosted by the complex, with the national basketball team winning on both tournaments. The 1978 FIBA World Championship was held at the complex although the latter stages were held in the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Southeast Asia's largest indoor arena.

Manila also hosts several well-known sports facilities such as the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center and the University of Santo Tomas Sports Complex, both of which are private venues owned by a university; collegiate sports are also held, with the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball games held at Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium, although basketball events had transferred to San Juan's Filoil Flying V Arena and the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Other collegiate sports are still held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. Professional basketball also used to play at the city, but the Philippine Basketball Association now holds their games at Araneta Coliseum and Cuneta Astrodome at Pasay; the now defunct Philippine Basketball League played some of their games at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Previously a widely-played sport in the city, Manila is now the home of the only sizable baseball stadium in the country, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. The stadium hosts games of Baseball Philippines; Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth were the first players to score a home run at the stadium at their tour of the country on December 2, 1934.

Another popular sport in the city are cue sports, and billiard halls are a feature in most barangays. The 2010 World Cup of Pool was held at Robinsons Place Manila.

The Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium hosted the first FIFA World Cup qualifier in decades when the Philippines hosted Sri Lanka in July 2011. The stadium, which was previously unfit for international matches, had undergone a major renovation program prior to the match. The Football Stadium now regularly hosts matches of the United Football League. The stadium also hosted its first rugby test when it hosted the 2012 Asian Five Nations Division I tournaments.

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