August 13, 2013

How We Made FIBA Asia 2013 PHL vs QAT Happen

Just in case you have been sleeping under a rock, the Philippines just had the craziest basketball weekend in history up to date! The Smart Gilas Pilipinas, our Baketball RP Team, is going to the Basketball World Cup in Spain this 2014 after finally beating South Korea and finishing 2nd in the recently concluded FIBA Asia 2013 Basketball Championship! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!! Generally, we are a basketball-obsessed country, so just imagine how this reality knocked us all over! Mabuhay kayo, Gilas Pilipinas! Maraming, maraming salamat! :)
From Nuki Sabio. After beating our nemesis, South Korea to advance into the FIBA Asia C'ship battle with Iran!

I was fortunate enough to have witnessed a live game because 1) it validates my claim of being the forever fangirl and 2) there's nothing like watching it live and not be divided by which team you are for because you are all on the same team here! The vibe is electric and the efforts, emotions, risks are all worth it!

It's funny what a beating forever fangirl heart can do to your mere mortal human body. I've always whined about MOA Arena being too far for my liking, sabihin pa lang na MOA, pagod na ako, that's really how I feel about it! So when I finally found myself at its doorstep, you know it's a big deal. Hello there Mall of Asia Arena, the fangirl all over has arrived! *drum rolls*

Out of nowhere during that Tuesday afternoon, I sent out a random SMS to my siblings. Me: Let's Gilas later? My litol brudder: Katamad the weather eh. Yung #LabanPilipinas ko, 'di full. My littler sister: Sayang, di ako nakapang-outfitey. Just another typical overheard discussion over at The Esmaldes. HAHA! So anyway, since my litol brudder came from a morning shift, he fell asleep and didn't make it to the MOA Arena but it's a different story for my littler sister and I.

You know it's real love when: We come from The North. Woke up as early as 5am that morning and head off to work. We work midway at Ortigas. When the clock ticked 6P, I was already on my way to the train station. and by 645P, my sister arrived and just like that, we found ourselves inside the tube heading to an entirely different direction on a Tuesday evening. 30 minutes, a jampacked Taft-bound train ride and a more jampacked jeepney ride after, we were finally in line to get tickets for the PHL vs QAT game. PHEW!

Team Qatar was undefeated going into that game and we were fresh from a loss against Team Chinese Taipei so I really didn't know what to expect but I know we're in for a good match and that there's no more chance for us to watch a live game since we've got no work on that Friday and Thursday is a rest day for the boys. I have to make this happen and the Boies need to make a win happen! Wednesday though, they face Team Hong Kong but between the two, my fangirl instincts told me to go for this one! And boy was my gut feel accurate or what!
We beat Qatar, 80-70! Undefeated who? One for the Philippines!!! It's almost as if they know I'm part of the sold out crowd and that my expectations were high because they seriously gave us one heck of a game. But of course that's just me thinking everything's about me but whatever, hahaha, bragging rights! I was on my feet, because tickets sold like pancakes and all that's left available for us are SRO tickets, but with how the game turned out, it's almost necessary to be on your feet the whole time so it figures! Jeffrei Chan opened the game with a 3-pointer and Japeth Aguilar sealed the deal with a slamma jamma! Sweet, sweet victory!!!

So it doesn't really matter if we had to battle the long way ride home, sans dinner. If we still have work the next day and we arrived home past midnight. If we have to endure muscle pains and all that as an aftermath of a hardcore night of fangirling. At least and at last, we witness a part of history. Being a part of that crowd is already memorable enough for me. You have got to give it to the Pinoy fangirl and fanboys. Ibang klase magmahal. All walks of life, all sorts of personalities. All for the love of the game, and this time, the country too. At least at last, we made FIBA Asia 2013 happen for me!

And now, I leave you with this. For their FIBA Asia 2013 campaign, Gilas Head Coach Chot Reyes said it's important to remember where we're from and of course I'd jump right into the bandwagon. Here's TGTC x The Girl Is She version:

"Ako si Joys Esmalde. Taga-Malolos City. Tubong Hagonoy, Bulacan. Lumalaban para sa Gilas Pilipinas! PUSO!"

PS. Frack the distance! From now on, anything MOA is all good for me. Dahil ang tunay na fangirl ay ako. HA!
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