Basketball: All time Favorite Sport of Filipinos.

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Basketball: Filipinos well-loved sports of all time.

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Game of one goal, to shoot that ball and get higher points to win the game, for Filipinos, a sport where their heart is.

It was in the late 80’s, my brothers have been playing basketball, watching basketball on tv, and not just them, my cousins too. They cannot get enough of the said sport. On that decade, the only basketball game they can watch on television was the Philippine Basketball Association or PBA, since my siblings have been watching it often, I became a fan too and do you know what my favorite team at that was?

Anejo Rum 65ers. The old Filipino readers knew about them, for the millennials, chances are, they have no any idea what was this team in the late 1980s. If Anejo Rum 65rs will be mentioned, Robert Jaworski will be the first that every Filipino basketball fan will remember, the playing coach and even awarded by the Philippine Sportswriter Association as the best Pro player of the year.

That was the start of me, becoming a fan of basketball and the team even if changes its name, so, I am a Ginebra Kings’ fan right now. But let me get you some stuff about basketball before I get into a deep love of every Filipinos with the sports.

Things about basketball.

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1.      James Naismith, a teacher at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, is credited with inventing basketball. He was looking for an indoor recreational activity and that was in the year 1891.

2.       Before it became that metal rim attached on a board, the first basketball hoops were actually just peach baskets and the first backboards were made of wire.

3.       On 1936, basketball became an Olympic event, Summer Games in Berlin, Germany.

4.      National Basketball Association was the result of the merge of two basketball leagues: National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America (BAA).

5.      Basketball was first played by a soccer ball until it was changed in 1929.

6.       Women´s basketball was developed the same year as its men´s counterpart. However, some rules were modified to fit women. The first intercollegiate women´s basketball game were played between Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, in 1896.

7.       Basketball, played at the international level is divided in 10 min quarters; while in the NBA League, the quarters are of 12 min each.

8.       There are 5 five players each on both the teams. The positions are: Point guard, Shooting guard, Small forward, Power forward, and Center.

9.       The first basketball game was held on January 20, 1892. The court was half the size of courts used at the NBA League today and only one point was scored in the whole match. In this game, there were nine players in each team.

10.   And the main goal for basketball to score points by placing the ball in the opponent’s basket. The basket is kept at a height of 10 ft.




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Basketball was introduced to Filipinos within the historic walls of Intramuros, Manila, according to Nick Joaquin, a National Artist.

The Americans’ Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) introduced the newly invented sports of “Basketball” in the Philippines (that was around 1898-1900). During this period, football (soccer) was the most popular sport in the Philippine Islands due to its history as a Spanish colony (influenced by British sailors from Hong Kong), even during the Far Eastern Games. Nevertheless, basketball went on to replace soccer (football) with other American sports like baseball.

Before PBA (Philippine Basketball Association), UAAP University Athletics Association of the Philippines and NCCA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), Manila Industrial Commercial Athletics Association (MICAA) was formed and went on to dominate Philippine basketball for almost 40 years (it started in 1938).


*video is credited to Gilas Army via youtube



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The Filipinos love for basketball is very obvious.

 Here in our village, a fiesta is not complete without a basketball tournament despite the fact that the prizes are not that much. For a reason that it is very simple, everyone (almost) plays the game.

 Aside from playing, Filipinos love to bet too with the result of the game.  Just like the recent NBA finals, there were bets made, on either per game or the whole game series itself. And I have noticed there was lots of money involved. So, have Filipinos loved basketball or the betting? I bet it was more of the sport; the betting is just a spice.

 Why do Filipinos love basketball?


The simplicity of the sport in Filipinos’ hearts.


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As Americans colonized the country, they definitely left something to Filipinos, basketball and surely loved the sport and for reasons and here is some of it.

1.       Filipinos can play them anywhere, almost. In the street, as long as there is a space to put a wooden post, a board and a metal ring, basketball can be played.

2.       The sport can be played at least two teams with even just one player on each team. There might be rules with regards to players, but Filipinos can disregard that on the street or anywhere they wanted to play except for those leagues.

3.       Filipinos can play the sport even without a shirt on, just shorts will do and slippers as simple as that, nothing fancy on what they are allowed to wear.

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4.       There might be no ring or trophy for the winners, a treat of a simple snack for the winners or winning team will do.

5.       The sport can be played by anyone who wanted to play the game, there is no age restriction of even gender, and gays love to play the game too.


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The Filipinos might be influenced by the Americans with basketball but somehow made some things with regards on how they play the game. Aside from that, it had become the sport that unites the nation when it comes to international competition. 

Filipinos might be short for the height, but their hearts for the game made them taller to beat other teams that have taller players.

We Filipinos indeed take the sport deep within us, no question about that.

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