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Let’s Play Basketball

By: Gem Cao

“Gem. Go basketball?” “Yeah. Let’s go!” I replied without hesitation. It seems to have become a reflex. I like to play basketball as a way to relax in Hong Kong. But after I came to the Philippines, I seemed to blend in with basketball and basketball became part of me. The basketball atmosphere in the Philippines is fantastic!

Love of basketball

My interest and thinking on this matter originated from two special games last week. I ended my task in the market and went straight homestay. We often have dinner around 7 p.m. at home, so when I got home, I had two hours free time without WiFi. It’s too boring sitting around and having nothing to do. After throwing my bag, I took he basketball from my homestay and walked to the basketball court. By that time, the kids were back in Tubod Mar after school. They love to throw slippers at people in the basketball court. If one child hits another with a slipper, the one that hit by slipper is out. After I’d been shooting for a while in the half court. A couple of little boys, who’d given up their “slipper game”, running up to me and wanted to play basketball with me. So I played 2v4 basketball games with a group of boys below ten years old. At first I thought it would be easy to deal with children who were just one meter tall. There was no need to take them too seriously. But after a few minutes, I realized it wasn’t as simple as I thought. They are young, but they dribble and handle the ball well. With only two players in my team, it was hard for me to get the ball. So I began to fully respect my opponents and actively defend them. That’s when I saw the advantage of their short height. Because of their low dribble position, I had to keep my body down like a squat if I wanted to be effective defensively. As I expected, I soon ran out of energy because I kept my body down and ran crazily. I asked for a break with Embarrassment. The result was that my team won, but I was too tired to sit in the dugout and watch them continue to run.Then I played a lot of pictures in my mind like watching a movie. At home in the evening, apart from Filipino family ethics dramas, PBA games are the most popular on TV. Not only are the boys watching, but girls (maybe only me) are also interested. When I went to a printing shop, a clerk was watching a basketball game with great interest. When I first arrived at the market, I saw a large series of basketball shirts sold on the second floor. On the shelves of 7’S, there are also many basketball uniforms to sell. When I mentioned basketball in Philippines, my manager said that “Each barangay should have a basketball court”.

Behind the love We can play

In the Philippines, the basketball court is everywhere. Some are built by the government and some are sponsored by rich people. Their support provides enough facilities for sporty people.The Philippines has two highly mature college basketball leagues, which are the “player base” for PBA. I am surprised that PBA (established in 1975) is the first professional league in Asia and the oldest professional basketball league besides NBA. This league provides a platform for basketball lovers.

We like playing

There are lots of athletic children or people in Philippines. And basketball is one of the kind of sports much show teamwork. A person who can play basketball well and cooperate with teammates perfectly is handsome in my eyes. Colonial rule (1565 to 1898) revolutionized the country, making it a country of “mixed blood”. People have Asian origin and Latin America at heart. Maybe cultural influence is also a reason why Filipinos love basketball.

We do more

Yesterday we had a big local celebration. The lower basketball court “changed its identity” to a dancing pool. We enjoyed ourselves jumping and revolving in the basketball court with sound equipment.

I am not willing to leave here. I found friendships and family here, and of course, deeper love of basketball.

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