“Basketball will always be the country’s one great unrequited love.”—PBA: A Nation’s Passion Documentary
IT was an affair for the books and a night to remember. Filipino basketball stars then and now came together (along with their significant others) to celebrate 40 years of the nation’s greatest passion–the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The highlight of the night was the exclusive premiere of the league’s very own documentary highlighting four decades worth of stories, beginning from the famed Crispa-Toyota rivalry to today’s Gilas heroes.
The colorful history of the country’s most popular pastime shows the powerful impact of basketball in hearts of every Filipino. It is a language that everyone understands–from bigwig CEOs of multinational companies to the neighborhood taho vendor. It is common ground that instantly bonds Filipinos together. It also has to be the country’s greatest source of enjoyment.
During the years of martial law, the young PBA league was a source of joy for most Filipinos proving that it is more than just a sport, but a fountain of for hope as high-flying players inspired others to go for the win.
On a personal note, the 40th anniversary of the PBA was made more special for me because of my dad’s own story. It was the PBA that made my dad’s dream of a better life come true, for him and his family, and a far cry from what he had in Cebu.
As a player of the San Miguel, Shell and Alaska teams, my dad became keenly aware of how gracious God has been to him, blessing him with his work in the PBA, as well as the friends he made in the league.
He reminisced about old teammates, coaches, team managers, and previous commissioners, all of whom have helped him become what he is today one way or another.
He also recalled the unsung heroes of the PBA, the role players and the nameless faces who worked tirelessly in the background to bring to the country its greatest love season after season.
The PBA, through its scholarship grant given to retired PBA players, gave my younger brother and I the opportunity for a good education. It was also the PBA put food on our table and provided us with a life my dad could only imagine.
For 35 years and counting, the PBA has become my dad’s second home.
And our story is not unique. In fact, countless of lives have been changed by the PBA, and today, as a certified child of the league, I would just like to say thank you.
Thank you because you have provided for numerous families, made fans laugh and cry at the time, and most importantly, made countless dreams come true.
Maraming maraming salamat PBA dahil ang buong bansa ay pinasaya ninyo.