basketball

Is basketball only for tall people?
Think again…. 😉

courtesy of: http://l3.yimg.com
Tacloban-After Typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a. Yolanda) courtesy of: http://l3.yimg.com

intramuros-basketball
Intramuros, Manila (photo courtesy of: Wikimedia.org)

Filipinos love for basketball can be likened to Canadians innate love for hockey. Every street corner in the Philippines is an impromptu basketball court… and people play the game whether they are wearing flip flops (a.k.a. tsinelas), sneakers, leather shoes, or even barefoot!

basketball-pro-philippines
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) (courtesy of: http://www.slamonlineph.com)

courtesy of: http://3ms4ve1eb1we30q8w527h1j9f4u.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content//uploads/2014/02/canada1.jpg
Canada Hockey (photo courtesy of: Google 🙂 )

street basketball (photo courtesy of: http://www.bubblews.com/)

streethockey
street hockey (photo courtesy of: http://www.womenshockeylife.com)

You betcha! I remember when I was 15 – 19 years old, I used to be a basketball announcer whenever there was a tournament in our community; that was one of my tasks as part of the youth council.

One basketball player was always assigned to sit beside me to help me interpret the referee’s call and the names of the violations committed during the game. In other words, he needs to make sure that I don’t screw up! 🙂 All I had to do was announce what’s going on in the court, joke a little bit to liven up the game, and speak with conviction regarding the violations.

The tournament was something similar to the photos below:

kids-basketball
photo courtesy of: http://mati.gov.ph/

courtesy of: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/

It’s fun and at the same time scary… especially if the intensity of the match was too high! Whew! Even though the games were a frenzy, they never broke into riots.. there were no cars being set on fire like during the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot. :p We know how to keep it under control. 😉

Riot – Vancouver (photo courtesy of: http://www.ctvnews.ca)

Riot-aftermath-Vancouver
Riot Aftermath – Vancouver (photo courtesy of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/)

By any means, the Filipino fascination (or should I say obsession?) with basketball prompted American author Rafe Bartholomew to go to the Philippines, conduct a study, and write a book about it. (Click here to read the snapshot of his book, Pacific Rims).

Rafe Bartholomew (photo courtesy of: http://rafebartholomew.com/sites/)

pacificrims_cover
Pacific Rims (photo courtesy of: http://rafebartholomew.com/)

Who wants to play ball? Let’s go, let’s go! 😀

beyblade tournament

Finally, it’s the day of the tournament. My nephew (James) woke up so early and I can hear him running around the house while chattering endlessly. He kept reminding us that the tournament is at noon and we should not be late. James’ parents were a bit anxious because he is a pampered kid and he is not yet comfortable in graciously accepting defeat.

The moment has come… together with his Grandma, Dad, and his Mom, we all went to give him moral support. James’ parents kept emphasizing that he can’t always win and losing is part of the game. As we gather in his school’s gymnasium, the venue of the tournament, the participants’ were all bubbly and the energy level is extremely high. I felt like I’m watching a game in the Olympics.

beyblade tournament

 The game started. James needs to win three rounds in order to qualify for the finals. From the looks of it, we’re more nervous than him. After a few minutes, the first round is over. We all heaved a sigh of relief when he won the first round. Another competitor was selected and he’s ready for the second round. We were all crossing our fingers for him.

During second round, James’ beyblade kept on bouncing out from the stadium (that also  happened when we were having beyblade battle and he said it’s not counted). After the second round ended, my nephew went to our area silently crying. He lost. Reason? His beyblade kept bouncing out from the stadium. (Whoa! I should have won in our beyblade battle then. :p )

Sigh. My heart bleeds for my nephew. It’s my first time to see him cry. Geez. His Mom was hugging him and whispering to him that he did well on the first round and what matters most is joining the tournament. My nephew was nursing a broken heart when we left him at the tournament venue. Later, when we went to fetch him after his class, he loudly blurted out “I’m over myself now” while giggling! O_O  Whew! He recovered fast than most of us could! :p

Life bites sometimes to keep us grounded. Aja!

beyblade battle

My nephew was bugging me to have a battle with him few days before the beyblade tournament in their school. I’ve already turned him down a dozen times because I don’t have the  slightest idea on how to play but this time, I gave in.

Before the battle, my nephew patiently taught me the basics.  It’s kinda cute because we had to chant “3 2 1, let it rip!” before launching. Ha! I can really feel his love for the game. I wonder how long will it last? 😉

beyblade stadium

After a few minutes, we started the battle in the “stadium”. His beyblade kept on jumping out of the stadium. According to James, by rule, it doesn’t count (note: with “his” rule,I don’t get to add points to my score) and it needs to relaunched.

I did pretty good for a first timer because he nearly lost. -_-  He gave me encouraging words like “you did pretty good Tita, you’ll win next time”. A motivator in the making eh?  We called it a day and I went back to my Korean Comedy Series and he went back to his Wii game.

Before getting engrossed to my fave series, I wished him good luck on his beyblade tournament. Guess what he replied? “I don’t need any luck.” I nearly fainted because he said it like a grown up and with gusto. He even asked all of us to watch him and be his cheering squad.

Let the tournament begin!