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NBA In The Philippines
« on: September 20, 2009, 04:53:42 PM »

Offline Bahku

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Having spent a fair amount of time in the Philippines recently, (where I met my fiance' Rose, by the way), I can say without question that they are a country who LOVES basketball and specifically the NBA. Even in the most remote provinces and barrios, they are always finding ways to improvise hoops and balls, (to some surprising and ingenious ends), and the kids can not always speak English, but can tell you all the names and stats of the top teams and stars.

I was there, going through basketball withdrawal and expecting to not hear anything of my precious Celtics, but was pleasantly surprised time-and-time-again, to end up discussing my team and players with some of the most unlikely NBA enthusiasts. The NBA has had some special events there in the last few years, which I was told were VERY successful, and I hope it's continued and expanded a great deal in the near future. Filipinas LOVE basketball!

(Here's a great article for those interested):

http://dimemag.com/2009/09/the-philippines-is-the-nbas-next-frontier/
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Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 04:58:01 PM »

Offline Roy Hobbs

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Congrats on the engagement, Bahku.  Very exciting news.

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Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 05:41:43 PM »

Offline Alberto A. Ramirez

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I would say the Philippines has been ahead of other Asian countries as far as NBA interest is concerned, guys.  In fact, when the NBA wasn't yet that big the world over in the '70s, Filipinos were already as familiar with the NBA and its players as any dyed-in-the-wool hoops junkie was.  Of course, the degree of interest is even greater nowadays in the age of the Internet.

One thing that helped Filipinos become familiar with NBA hoops is the fact that some of the biggest American military bases in the world (the Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base) used to be stationed here in the Philippines.  With the concomittant media materials for American military personnel that carried NBA information having been accessible to them, Filipinos became a ready market for such stuff, thus developing in them an interest, and eventually passion, for the world's ultimate basketball league.

Personally, I have been a fan since the '60s, when the Boston Celtics were the scourge of the league and Bill Russell reigned.  That's why I find it a boon to be a member of Celtics Philippines, a group of Filipino fans of the Celtics that I accidentally came upon while blogging in the Celtics site in The Boston Globe.  The e-group, which meets from time to time but regularly exchanges notes through the e-mail, now numbers about 150, with members as far away as Canada and the US (those who have moved on).

We've also made friends with some American colleagues, foremost of whom is an erudite Boston Globe blogger by the name of Slippery Sam, who can beat any Celtics expert with his vast knowledge of the franchise (he used to ride Celtics planes with Sam Jones and Russ), perceptiveness and remarkable writing ability. I would suggest you look for Slippery Sam and make him one of CelticsBlogs' regular writers.  The guy is a dandy, although I don't know if he would have the time to do it as he also does some legit business on the side I think.

But, yes, the Philippines has always been ahead of the learning curve as far as the NBA is concerned, and the age of the Internet has made Filipinos even more knowledgeable about pro hoops as it's played in the US.
Bert Ramirez a.k.a. 17

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2009, 08:11:31 PM »

Offline RebusRankin

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Congrats on the engagement.

Which team or teams are most popular in the Philippines?

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2009, 09:02:33 PM »

Offline celtpinoy

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I would say the BOSTON CELTICS....although please don't charge me for being too biased  ;)

seriously...There is now a resurgence of OLD CELTIC fans in the Philippines, who have now come out of their respective shells... am one proud member of that celtic group , that Bert Ramirez has mentioned in an earlier post ...  we've endured 20 + years of torment and ridicule from rival NBA fans....  BANNER 17 was redemption of sorts... and we are all eagerly waiting for our next banner

ubuntu !!!!



Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2009, 09:34:40 PM »

Offline Soytiz

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Kudos to my compatriot Albert up there. I'll be homeward bound after the presentment of my dissertation here in Cambridge. I'd love to meet up with you guys and discuss Basketball.

Anyway, most of the NBA fans in the Philippines have a very good grasp of the game. This is mainly due to the fact that Americans occupied our territory for quite a number of decades. They introduced the sport of Basketball and Filipinos just found it to be enjoyable to the extent of it being our National Pastime as the game progressed through time. Our professional league over there, which is the PBA or Philippine Basketball Association naturally patterns after the NBA in terms of game style and form (The reason why we are unsuccessful in International play). They hire American players (Kevin Gamble played in the PBA before playing with the Celtics) to reinforce their lineups much like European teams and have a bevy of Filipino-Americans playing in the league as well. As such, our game is more skills based and one-on-one oriented.

The popular NBA teams in the Philippines in a nutshell, are the teams with intriguing individual talents, the winning teams and the teams that are entertaining. It's basically the same as what we have here in the US.

1. Lakers
2. Cavaliers
3. Celtics
4. Knicks
5. Suns
6. Magic
7. Pistons
8. Bulls
9. Mavericks
10.Heat

    

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2009, 11:31:03 PM »

Offline guava_wrench

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Basketball is so popular in the Philippines that it propelled one of their most beloved players, Jaworski, into a senate seat.

The problem with the growth of the NBA in the Philippines is that it does make the PBA much less interesting. What is most annoying about the PBA is teams do not have cities, just corporate sponsors. Imagine rooting for the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hot Dogs.

Filipinos are very good at playing in flip-flops. Much better than you would expect until the rubber between the toes pops out.

Filipinos tend to be front runners in their fandom. They liked the Lakers in the 80s, the Bulls in the 90s.

The popularity of the Celtics is helped by Manny Pacquiao's love of KG.

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 12:22:26 AM »

Offline Junkyard Dawg

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The Philippines is one of my favorite countries I've been lucky enough to have visited.  I was impressed with how popular basketball was there, at the guesthouse I stayed at in Manila they were forever watching NBA classic games on a channel that barely got reception.

I'm kind of surprised with the recent fascination the Chinese have taken with basketball, that the NBA hasn't tried to market itself in other Asian countries such as the Philippines.  I've lived in Vietnam for the past year and i can say there is a small but surprisingly passionate and knowledgeable fan base here, considering they only show a game or two a week.

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 01:02:50 AM »

Offline guava_wrench

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The Philippines is one of my favorite countries I've been lucky enough to have visited.  I was impressed with how popular basketball was there, at the guesthouse I stayed at in Manila they were forever watching NBA classic games on a channel that barely got reception.

I'm kind of surprised with the recent fascination the Chinese have taken with basketball, that the NBA hasn't tried to market itself in other Asian countries such as the Philippines.  I've lived in Vietnam for the past year and i can say there is a small but surprisingly passionate and knowledgeable fan base here, considering they only show a game or two a week.
The NBA has been marketing itself in the Philippines for awhile. Just not as heavy as in China because the Philippines is pretty poor per capita.

I remember Kobe visiting Manila a few years ago. I think the NBA gets very good ratings there too, even though the games are delayed half a day so that they can be shown in prime time.

I remember when the NBA started letting Filipino broadcasters got to the NBA finals to cover the game. Kinda blew. Though I can understand Tagalog, I'd rather listen to ex-NBA players instead of a former PBA coach.

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 05:26:54 AM »

Offline nox45

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the boston celtics were popular in the philippines long before pacquiao. in fact he is a turncoat who unabashedly rooted for kobe buaya when he came to manila a few weeks back. pacquiao does not bleed green, he is just a bandwagon jumper. his name should never be mentioned here. by the way buaya in filipino means crocodile, a ball hog, or a selfish, me-first guy. one of the most hated villains in philippine movies is nicknamed buaya.

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 09:17:58 PM »

Offline Bahku

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My thoughts and prayers are with all of you there in the Philippines ... my fiance' is in the Santa Cruz area of Manila and not on the ground floor, so all is well. They lost power there for about 14 hours yesterday, but it's back on now and I've had constant communication with her, (as either the land line was working when the cell signal was out, or the cell signal came back when the land lines went down).

I was online with her a short while ago, though, and there are many who have not been so lucky. Her street is still flooded a bit, but not waste-deep like it was yesterday. If there are any of you there who need any kind of help, please don't hesitate to contact me, and I will do what I can. I have many contacts there, some with the hospitals in Metro-Manila, and also with the Embassy and Mayoral's Office in Paniqui.

God bless.

Kaawan ka ng diyos palage
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Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2009, 03:25:34 AM »

Offline zeeb

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Kaawaan ka rin ng Dios, bahku! ;D

Re: Filipino fandom front running.  Can't be really helped.  Hard to really find affiliation for a foreign state or city that's why I think many Filipinos tend to root for the best team or the best players out there. 

But I'm happy though with the resurgence of Celtics fans, especially the old ones.  I've been a fan since the 80s and I still remember waking up early in the morning hoping to catch Boston games via the US bases' TV network. 

Ubuntu!

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2009, 07:13:52 AM »

Offline Alberto A. Ramirez

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First, I'd like to thank Bahku for expressing his concern for Filipinos who fell victim to the Great Deluge that inundated Metro Manila and nearby provinces, causing unquantifiable suffering and destruction to life and property (almost 300 killed and billions of property and crops lost as of last accounting).  Ondoy (or Ketsana in international parlance) dumped an all-time record 450 millimeters of rain in just one day, more than the 380 mm. Hurricane Katrina did in New Orleans in 2005, and that should give one an idea how deadly this storm was for Filipinos, who are now slowly getting up on their feet after the devastation wrought on them.

Just to clarify though, Filipinos are not exactly bandwagon fans who root for whichever NBA team is currently the rage, although some of them are.  There is a core of hard-bitten Filipino NBA fans who go by tradition and are very knowledgeable about the NBA even in the '60s and '70s.  Their team of choice, of course, is the tradition-steeped Boston Celtics, whose history spans the NBA's itself.  That's why the Johnny-come-latelys who profess to be dyed-in-the-wool NBA fans but only know NBA history from the time of Michael Jordan cannot be considered as genuine NBA hoops junkies.

The oldtimers, even those in their 40s who were weaned in NBA ball back in the '70s or even earlier, are the real followers of the American game that can claim to have a wider, more genuine perspective of the league and its history.  Our Filipino pride, Manny Pacquiao, of course, may be considered as a bandwagon fan though it can't be entirely his fault alone.  One has to consider that Manny came upon NBA ball only when he became a celebrity himself, and got exposed to the more sophisticated brand of roundball that's played in America.  So it would really take a kind of domination by an NBA team to finally hook Pacquiao to that team and consider it as his real favorite ballclub and not just a passing fancy as some of his compatriots do with their own favorite teams or players.

But as far as a solid core of NBA followers among Filipinos is concerned, I would say that it favors the Celtics more than any other team simply because the members of this group were weaned in the NBA at precisely the time the Celtics were dominating the pro ball circuit.

Bert Ramirez a.k.a. 17 
Bert Ramirez a.k.a. 17

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2009, 07:48:29 AM »

Offline RockinRyA

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wow, its been a long time bahku  :)

well the reason many are bandwagoners here is because how the nba markets their players. its really hard to find affiliation if you only get to watch a certain team twice a month.(trust me, really hard getting the celts on tv even though theyre the defending champs)

popular teams... i would say lakers first, then cavaliers, then celtics. at least the only nba player ive ever met and had picture with was no other than paul pierce on his tour in 2004.

on a side note... billy ray bates was really famous here. i didnt know erik spoelstra was a fil-am until i saw him got introduced while watching my college league

that deluge was really terrible. my girlfriend got stranded at their office while i luckily was able to get home from school just in time. flood level in my area was only a half inch deep i think(or less) thank god. it cancelled the collegiate finals that made me really p---ed off and have my friends stranded on their rooftops.

anyway for pinoys here who want to donate, ateneo is accepting canned goods, noodles, clothes etc as donations and are looking for more volunteers.  :)

go celts!!!

Re: NBA In The Philippines
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2009, 07:52:54 AM »

Offline mjohnson

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NBA in the Philippines.
I can say that most Filipinos love playoff teams or any team with a superstar.

During the 2000-2003, most people here love the Lakers followed by A.I.'s Philadelphia 76ers. Then some loved Jason Kidd's New Jersey Nets and TMac's Orlando Magic. Tim Duncan's Spurs became popular during 2005 Championship. During 2004 Finals, everybody loved Lakers against the Pistons.

So that's the trend. Filipino loves NBA teams that either wins or have a superstar. During Finals, it was noontime here in the Philippines. Most workers have lots of different excuses during this game time: either being late or sick.

In my case, I've been just a regular viewer who is bored in his summer [since NBA Playoffs starts during our summer break].
I saw Paul Pierce's show during the 2002 NBA Eastern Finals. That's the time I loved the Celtics. It's been a hard time after that season because the Celtics never reached the eastern finals again.

The arrival of KG and R. Allen of course netted some bandwagon fans. Most of them were a fan of KG's Timberwolves or R.Allen's Sonics.