Kevin and Bobbito, the guys behind ‘Doin It In The Park!’ and who were sent in by Nike Phils. to show their film recently have finally written about their trip here, and as I expected they were stunned by how much we had embraced the game.
Of any country in the world, the Philippines spend the greatest percentage of available funds for sports on basketball while no international rewards justify the investment. They love the game more than anyone!..
..Kevin and I visited court after court. Every single one was packed, no exaggeration. And not just with players who had next. Common folk watched intently, too. At the Dr. J court, which was smack in the middle of an intersection, the teenagers had bet .50 cents each on the match. I counted 20 people that were waiting to see who won (not including the drivers who’d watch as their cars passed by).
..Mind you it was 12 noon and 90 degrees outside with 90% humidity. You read that correctly. As much as I love my New York ballplayers, I’ve definitely heard too many times, “Yo, it’s too hot outside to play ball!” Excuses don’t apply here. Filipinos have to get their run in.
..How many countries outside the US can say they have b-ball on the tube all day, everyday? The feature aired during the live broadcast of the fierce college rivalry between Ateneo and LaSalle. Nike arranged front row seats for us, and the cameraman put us on the Jumbotron during their “celebrities in the crowd” feature. Crazy! I’ve sat in a number of NBA arenas and have never received that type of respect. Apparently, they really were moved by our film, and treated us like royalty. That’s love.
And it goes on.
Some thoughts: He quoted a guy as saying the country’s crime rate shuts down when DLSU and ADMU play, which I think he confuses with Pacquiao’s fights. I’m fairly convinced that the UAAP’s reach is limited to Manila or Luzon at most. Perfectly understandable since the participants are Manila Universities. There are collegiate wars going on at the Visayas – Mindanao area that are as rabid as the UAAP NCAA, except they don’t get much media attention.
But the most biting thought I had is that same feeling I got when I was watching their film. And I honestly mean no disrespect to either of them when I say this:
Why are these two dudes talking to us about loving the game of basketball?
I’m a Pinoy who grew up playing the streets like many thousands of others like me, born before me and after me. The phrase ‘Preaching to the choir’ doesn’t begin to say how I feel when I watched their film. Again like Mac Cardona said aloud when I heard him watching the film, ‘parang barangay lang‘, which can vary in meaning from ‘it’s exactly like how it is playing in barangay leagues’, and ‘this is nothing new’.
Anyway, read on. And Kevin and Bobbito next time you come over do let me know let’s get some ball in.