Basketball really is the national sport in the Philippines.
I've seen courts in fishing villages, in the middle of streets, and in classy neighborhoods too. Sometimes for small courts they'll cut off a couple inches of rim and bend it in so it's smaller. . . then they'll lower the hoop by a few inches so they can play more like the PBA.
PBA basketball BTW doesn't mean dunking. It's kind of like a more athletic version of Golden State run n' gun with full court press thrown in.
My cousin got me great seats for a doubleheader yesterday at Areneta 'thrilla in Manila' coliseum yesterday:
Welco Paint vs. St. Lucia realtors
Magnolia Ice Cream vs. Air 21 (fedex)
Magnolia ice cream is owned by San Miguel. . . the budweiser of Philippines. . . so they're like the Mavericks. Pay no heed to the salary cap.
So the ball itself. . . this is the 'filipino only' half of the league. . . which means you have to be at least 50% Pinoi (or have good fake papers) to play. So lots of team ball vs. the 'import' season where the foreigners basically isolate and just go one on one against each other for most of the games.
So. . . the style of play . . .Yeah. Lots of full court press. . . cherry picking. . . and transition. Not so much half court. Very exciting and very physical. Hand checking and basic elbowing encouraged, streetball style.
WHY DO I CARE?
In addition to having a great time playing/seeing basketball, I've been preparing for my family's inaugural 'Pagkalinwan Fil-Am Tournament'. . . . Takes place tomorrow. All of my cousins go head to head in an American vs. Pinoi basketball family feud.
Starring for the locals: My cousin Gelo and his brother Ian. . . Gelo's on his college team (Grad/dental school) and Ian was the starting shooting guard for his high school.
For the traveling Americans: My cousin Jun (Plays with former PBA players in an orange county league) and his 12-year old daughter Erica.
For the game, we've rented the practice court of the PBA's 'Red Bulls' and are taking this very seriously.
Off to search for a 'Pure Foods Giant Chunkees' jersey.
Results to be posted later.