I love watching NBA and PBA games. I have always been a basketball freak – staying up in the wee hours of the morning watching live coverages on television, collecting DVD box-sets of my fave teams, even watching old reruns of basketball games.
For the longest time, I’ve been a Chicago Bulls fan. Over in the PBA, I used to be a fan of Ginebra. I also love playing basketball. It doesn’t take much convincing for me to lace up a pair of rubber shoes and get on the court to play. I would join countless league games with friends all year round. Doesn’t matter how near or far these games are played at as long as I get to satiate my basketball hunger.
Earlier this week, I was invited by Ferds Bondoy of Tatak Digitista and the Mall of Asia Arena to attend the “PLDT All-Star Basketball Challenge” press conference and the actual game the day after that. There was never any question or doubt if I was going to the event or not. I was like a giddy kid, excited to get up, close and personal with basketball idols such as Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen and Jason Williams. Heck! I’d be a fool not to go.
The game was going to pit the US All-Star legends against our very own Philippine All-Star legends – and though it was pretty much a no-brainer which team would win, there was no way in hell I was going to miss this once in a lifetime event.
So off I went with my wife who is also a basketball fan and equally giddy as I was (yup, she was included in the invite too). The press conference was held inside the Mall of Asia Arena itself… just beside the playing court. Since we were coming from a location quite far away from the venue, we decided to hit the road really early in anticipation of the terrible traffic that usually happens along Edsa. Surprisingly, there was hardly any traffic or congestion! We arrived at the Mall of Asia Arena an hour and a half earlier than expected. No worries… better to kill time nearby, rather than being stuck on the road desperately trying to avoid being late.
We entered the press conference area where most of the press and photographers were already setting up and positioning their cameras and gadgets. Some PBA legends like Jojo Lastimosa, Jerry Codinera and Bong Hawkins were already seated and whiling the minutes away. We were told that the US All-Stars have already arrived at the airport and that they will be heading straight to the MOA Arena for the presscon. I got more excited.
Saw a few friends at the press conference as well such as TJ Manotoc, Tracy Abad and Chino Trinidad.
Moments later, the US All-Stars started entering the press conference area as press and photographers started scuffling and jostling for position. It was surreal… I mean, who would’ve thought I’d be in the same room as these basketball icons, let alone be merely an arm’s length away from them?
It was an awesome press conference. In fact, even Dennis Rodman who is known to be very volatile and unpredictable answered a lot of questions thrown at him by the press.