MANILA, Philippines – PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa promises to hold games abroad as much as the league can after experiencing first-hand the warm reception of OFWs in the most recent visit by the PBA in Dubai.
“We all know that our kababayans abroad don’t have much leisure time. When they come home, kasama sa kasabikan nila ang manood ng PBA (they are excited to watch the PBA). The PBA going to where they are is our way of giving back to what we call our modern-day heroes,” said Narvasa.
“I saw it in Dubai. The reception was not just warm. They’re genuinely very, very happy just to be able to see our basketball stars,” Narvasa also said. “If we can do more activities outside the country, the better. We’ll find time to work within our schedule. Susubukin natin pagbigyan lahat (We will try to accommodate everyone).”
Clique Events, the PBA’s organizing partner in Dubai, is looking forward to again host official games during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
In the third conference, the PBA is set to visit Taipei.
Next year, the PBA may play their first games in Qatar and in Saudi Arabia.
“We’ve had initial talks with the Qatar and Saudi groups. They have expressed clear intention to host PBA games. Our prospective Qatar host is the Qatar basketball federation, no less,” said PBA media bureau chief Willy Marcial.
The local pro league has played official games in Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Guam.
Legends games are now also being sought. A few days back, the PBA brought over to New Zealand the group of Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiñera, Jojo Lastimosa, Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino, Bal David, and Noli Locsin.
The PBA ball clubs know the importance of bringing fun and excitement to Filipinos abroad.
In fact, as opposed to their practice back home, the Alaska Milk Aces opened to the public their workouts during the PBA’s recent visit in Dubai.
Alaska team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu commended coach Alex Compton for this.
The Aces saw the longing of OFWs for some entertainment as they played back-to-back games in Dubai versus the Mahindra Enforcers and the Barangay Ginebra Kings.
“You can feel yung pagkasabik nila makasalamuha ang kababayan nilang dinadalaw sila (You can feel their excitement to mingle with compatriots visiting them),” said Alaska chief playmaker Jvee Casio.
“Nakakataba ng puso na alam mong nakapagpasaya ka ng kapwa Filipino na nasa abroad. Yon yung pakiramdam ko (My heart swells with joy knowing we were able to make our fellow Filipinos abroad happy. That’s how I feel),” said Aces forward Calvin Abueva, experiencing the same in his Gilas stint and in his journey with the Manila West team in the FIBA World Tour 3×3 finale in Doha, Qatar.
“I’m all in for this knowing we sacrifice a little as compared to what these guys bring to our country,” Sonny Thoss added. – Rappler.com
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