I know, it’s supposed to be #TravelThursday today but since I’ve been busy with my love’s birthday celebration these past few days that I haven’t had the time to edit my travel photos and of course, I’m still on a high after my favourite team Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters won the PBA Championship last night after a very intense Game 7, I thought that it would be fitting to share with you one of the articles I wrote about why I love basketball so much.
Close friends and family know very well that I am a big basketball fan. And no, we’re not talking about the fan girl giddy about her baller crush here, but we’re talking about someone who watches every game possible (on TV unfortunately since I’m rarely in Manila these days), analyses different plays and recreates them in her head, knows about violations and other rules, and has her own dream team (this deserves a different post). I don’t claim to be a basketball expert here ’cause i’m clearly not. I can proudly say, however, that i am very passionate about the sport even if i’m just watching from the sidelines.
More than the players, coaches and plays, there’s something unique about basketball that keeps me hooked, and no, it’s not the good-looking players. If you look at it closely, basketball is pretty much like life, which is probably why a lot of people, including me, can relate to it.
Here are some of the lessons i picked up from years of watching basketball and probably the same reasons im absolutely and utterly in love with the sport:
It is about selflessness.
I grew up being taught about selflessnes, both at home and in school. But i have to admit that i never really understood it well, not until i started watching basketball games. In essence, the sport is about selflessness. Just imagine if all those players were selfish and only thought about their own glory. It would be 10 players on the court and not 2 teams. How confusing could that get? Players, however, work with one goal in mind – to win. They often sacrifice their own glory to make sure that their team will do good both defensively and offensively. When i think about selflessness, the name Jimmy Alapag often comes to mind. Jimmy is good, no doubt about that (he wouldnt be team captain of Gilas if he isnt). But how many times did Jimmy sacrifice his body by driving to the lane to free one of his teammates for a basket? That player gets a point, he gets body pain after. I have been selfish many times in my life, i think we all have. But the many times ive witnessed the selflessness of not only Jimmy but the other players made me want to do the same, whether its in the littlest of acts.
It is about moving past failure.
Getting a win in basketball is never easy and so is winning in life. I cant count the games ive watched where my team lost. Whether it was by double digits or by a point, it hurt me each time, so i can only imagine the pain felt by the players who laboured for 48 minutes (and sometimes even more) just to fail. It is the beauty of basketball, however, moving past failure. Life doesnt promise us rainbows and butterflies, no matter how hard we work or how passionate we are. But what it can promise us is that, no matter how many times we fall, stumble and even get hurt, as long as the clock is still ticking, there is HOPE. We just have to fight back, believe and do everything to move past failures. If you look at it, some of the most successful players and teams in both the PBA and NBA had to endure a heartbreaking loss at some point, but they bounced back and are now enjoying the glory that they deserve.
It is about faith.
“Keep the faith.” This was the title of Larry Fonacier’s story that was featured in Kwentong Gilas (insert video link here). For many years, ive watched this guy play basketball. From the time he was in Ateneo until now that he’s already in the pros, ive seen Larry hit treys, provide assists and make shots when they mattered the most. But perhaps one of my most special moments as his fan was when he made that shot off the fast break during Game 4 of the 2014 PBA Governors Cup, a must win game for his team. Yes, that basket was very important but what made it extra special was Larry’s expression after, which was captured by the camera. He clasped his hands together, closed his eyes and prayed. Perhaps it was to say thank you. Perhaps it was to ask God to help them win the game. Whatever his prayer was, Larry, in such a tight situation, never forgot to honour God. Its no secret to basketball fans that Larry somehow struggled as of late with his shooting. For a man who can bury a trey from halfway across the court, this was surely frustrating. But Larry knew that God had the perfect timing for him, just like what he did when Larry suffered an ACL injury back in college, an injury that ended many players’ careers. But Larry bounced back and he knows that he will do so again soon. Like him, ive had many moments in my life where i questioned God, where i wondered why something had to happen, why me. But when im at the point of breaking down or giving up, these words always echo in my mind, “keep the faith.”
I can go on and on about my love for basketball. It is one of those things that, whether i’m 25 or 65, i know i’ll still be in love with. 🙂