Photo ©Karl Carandang
It is no secret that I love playing and watching basketball, as seen on my NBA Daily Blog where I blog about the NBA games that have happened since I “resurrected” my blog a few days, and the fact the Philippines is still a basketball nation even with the rise of other sports like football, rugby and tennis, as well as sports with a long presence in the Philippines like boxing, billiards, volleyball and taekwondo. Basketball has been a part of my life since 2002 when the NBA came upon our television sets. Even up to today, basketball is one of the most special things I cherish in my entire life.
My first favorite NBA team was the Utah Jazz where my first favorite NBA player Karl Malone was playing. At first, I was playing basketball on video games on the PlayStation and so on, but a few months later, I got my hands on a basketball for the first time and life has never been the same from there.
I grew in love more with basketball when the Houston Rockets drafted Yao Ming out of China to become the first Asian player to be drafted #1 overall in the NBA Draft and from there, I have become a proud fan of the Rockets with Yao as my new favorite player. I also liked other Rockets players that have played over the years like Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, Tracy McGrady, Bob Sura, Shane Battier, Chuck Hayes, Rafer Alston, Dikembe Mutombo, Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola, Carl Landry, Kyle Lowry, Ron Artest (now known as Metta World Peace), Von Wafer, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Courtney Lee, Goran Dragic, and many other Rockets players since I’ve watched with the NBA on TV. Over the years when I grew up, that was then I found out about the history of the Rockets with the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Robert Horry, Kenny Smith, Sam Cassell, Mario Elie, Vernon Maxwell, Otis Thorpe, Ralph Sampson, Rudy Tomjanovich, Calvin Murphy, Charles Barkley and many other Rockets greats. That was then when I found out they were the NBA Champions in 1994 and 1995, and right now I hope that the Rockets can win a NBA title in my lifetime, because the time they won NBA titles, I was still a baby.
Aside from the Rockets and all the great players, I came to like other players like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Isiah Thomas, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Jeremy Lin, Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and many other players from different eras and the present. I also like other teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks.
Aside from the NBA, I also keep track of basketball played here in the Philippines from the Philippine Basketball Association to the college game UAAP and NCAA (Philippines). Some PBA teams I like are the Petron Blaze Boosters, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, B-Meg Llamados, Alaska Aces, and the Powerade Tigers. Also, I am a supporter of the Philippine national team in basketball and the AirAsia Philippine Patriots of the ASEAN Basketball League.
I admit that before I came to study at the University of Santo Tomas, my favorite college team were the Ateneo Blue Eagles, but now that I am a full-pledged Thomasian, I wholeheartedly support the UST Growling Tigers, and I hope in my time as a student, they win the UAAP basketball tournament. I also like the Letran Knights and the San Sebastian Golden Stags of the NCAA (Philippines).
I also take a look at in international basketball contests like the FIBA tournaments in each region and the Euroleague.
I also come in to play video games, The first basketball video game I played was NBA Shootout 2000. Then it was followed the NBA Live series from 2003 to 2007, and now I’m a huge fan of the NBA 2K series since 2008, especially after the improvements and innovations they put up in every issue of the game that had been launched since then.
Whenever I play basketball myself, I’m a left-handed shooter, as I write with my left hand and favor more of my left hand than my right. I like to take three-pointers and mid-range shots, but sometimes I go for a lay-up or close-range shot. I’m trying my best to improve my passing, dribbling, and ball-handling game which is a constant improvement year after year. I can be a underrated on-ball defender. I enjoy playing basketball for the fun of it all, together with my friends at the basketball court. Whether it is free time during my PE class in high school and in games for one semester at the university, to playing at the Intramurals in high school or the CTHM Sportsfest, or to playing in the subdivision with my friends.
Basketball has been a part of my life for already a decade, basketball has shaped my life to the person I have become today. With basketball, I made great time with my friends and gained new ones along the way, I had a lot of moments of victory with jubilation, and also moments of defeat where I got to learn from my mistakes when playing. Basketball will continue to be a part of my life even after I’m done playing on the court and continue the rest of the day. Just like the Nike campaign “Basketball never stops.”
“Basketball is in my blood. It is my obligation to try.” – Hakeem Olajuwon
“I have one thing to say to those non-believers, don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion!” – Rudy Tomjanovich
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan
A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That’s how I want you to play. – Mike Kryzewski