San ka? Kampihan na!

Yesterday, I watched my first two PBA games at “The Big Dome”, the Smart Araneta Coliseum. I was already in the Cubao area since the afternoon since I was with my family who also bought some things there. So once the sun came down and minutes from tip-off. I went around the outside of the Big Dome and noticed some changes that have been happening. Gone was the old blue and yellow paint job on the outside. It was being painted white and glass was being installed on the exterior of the arena. Then at around 6pm, my friend from high school together with his little brother who had my tickets to the game arrived. Then we went inside The Big Dome for the double-header. It was also my first time watching a game at the Big Dome on Patron seats in the five times I’ve witnessed an event at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Later, my friend’s classmate arrived at the Big Dome as he was also invited by my friend to watch the game.

Both games were a treat. The first game was between the Air21 Express and the GlobalPort Batang Pier. Well, it was an up and down ballgame with the Batang Pier dominating the first half. However, the Express would come alive in the second half with hot shooting from their import Michael Dunigan as well as their local playerslike KG Canaleta and Mike Cortez as they defeat the Batang Pier 87-72. Unfortunately, I was unable to take photos from these games because I had to save my camera’s battery for the Main Event of the night.

It was the best team in the PBA this conference Alaska Aces going up against the SanMig Coffee Mixers. Well the “man of the moment” was San Mig Coffee star James Yap who has been in the news, not because of his on-court brilliance but of something personal he’s going through. I won’t go further into the details in this blog entry, since we’re all about basketball in this entry. Anyway, from tip-off it was an up and down game between these two competitive teams. Neither team did not waver all game long as both teams traded baskets and tough defense in a slow-paced game where both teams run the triangle on almost every play. For James Yap, it was an off game for him and it had something to do with the fact his personal troubles are getting the better of him. Both imports Denzel Bowles of San Mig Coffee and Rob Dozier of Alaska had a great battle inside. Alaska’s star rookie Calvin Abueva had a monster game despite the jeers he got all game long by the strong San Mig Coffee Planet in attendance at the Big Dome. In the end game, we were witness to one of the most craziest sequences of basketball I have seen in my life. Well here‘s what happened. It was 84-83 with the Mixers leading the Aces. Calvin Abueva was fouled on his way to the basket thus giving him two free throwsand a chance to give Alaska the lead. He would miss his first free throw, then when he was about to attempt his second free throw. Both backcourt players of Alaska and San Mig Coffee were called for lane violation thus resulting in a jump-ball. The Aces won the tip with enough time to go for the win. Abueva droved to the basket and missed the shot, then the Aces got the rebound and sent it back to Cyrus Baguio who attempted a wide-open shot for three, but the shot missed at the buzzer and the Mixers would escape with the victory over the Aces.

 Photo ©Karl Carandang
It was a great experience to watch the PBA live for the first time at the venue, after the experience of watching college basketball (UAAP and NCAA). As a Petron Blaze Boosters fan, that Alaska loss put a smile on my face, as that gives them a windown to take the lead from the Aces after witnessing a tough overtime defeat against the Talk ‘n Text Tropang Texters on television the previous day. So I’ll thank my friend for the free Patron tickets to the games yesterday. This won’t be the last time I’ll watch a PBA game live.
PBA: San ka? Kampihan na!
K-Smoove
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